Covid cases could hit 200,000 a day in the UK this year and cause a “huge disruption” to the NHS, according to the scientist whose initial model helped shape Britain’s coronavirus lockdown strategy.
Professor Neil Ferguson said it was “almost inevitable” that Monday’s final phase of unblocking will bring with it 100,000 cases a day, with around 1,000 hospitalizations, despite the fact that about half of the UK is fully vaccinated. He added that he could foresee a situation where the case rate expands to twice the size.
“The real question is whether we can duplicate that, or even more,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr on Sunday. “And that’s where the crystal ball starts to fail. I mean, we could get to 2,000 hospitalizations a day, 200,000 cases a day, but it is much less safe. “
Daily hospitalizations that exceed 2,000 a day are equal to the level of the week before Christmas. Although currently hospitalized people do not get as seriously ill and are much less likely to die, Ferguson said that “if you have enough cases, you can still put a fairly significant burden on the health system … a major disruption to services and health. Cancellation of surgery and the delay in the NHS keeps getting longer. “
Coronavirus infections in the UK are on the rise again and hospitalizations are on the rise, driven by the spread of the Delta variant and the partial lifting of restrictions. Almost all restrictions will be dropped in England on Monday, including the use of masks and social distancing mandates. Whether this unlocking is permanent or temporary will depend on precautions taken by the public and vaccination rates, the scientists warned, adding that there would likely be an increase in cases no matter when the remaining restrictions are lifted.
Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London found that there had been an almost three times the true-scale underestimation of the level of infections in the country in March of last year, forcing the government to impose a total lockdown on 23 February. March. Therefore, the colossal alteration of the British way of life can be traced directly to the modeling carried out over a few days, calculations that would lead sections of the British press and the public to see Ferguson as the figurehead of the confinement.
Some scientists have vehemently opposed the lifting of the remaining restrictions on July 19, suggesting that the government has decided to achieve “herd immunity” by allowing the virus to spread wildly in young people, which they say will lead to disruptions in NHS care and education. This strategy would also lead more people to long-term Covid and increase the risk of new vaccine-resistant variants. Instead, they advise that more people should get fully vaccinated before fully unlocking.
Although absorption of the vaccine has weakened the link between infections and hospitalizations and death, it has not broken it. With a high rate of infections, even a small percentage of people hospitalized and / or dying will remain a large number, scientists have emphasized. Sage advisers expect between 1,000 and 2,000 hospital admissions a day during the summer after unlocking, and between 100 and 200 deaths a day, in what was described as “center stage.”
The UK has one of the the highest daily rates of new cases per million worldwide, according to the Our World in Data project led by Global change data lab, a UK-based non-profit organization, trailing only Indonesia and Brazil in the seven-day moving average of daily new Covid cases.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism