Internewscast
Image default
Home » Coronavirus UK: Deaths are EXCEEDING SAGE ‘worst case scenario’
Health

Coronavirus UK: Deaths are EXCEEDING SAGE ‘worst case scenario’

Britain’s second coronavirus wave is already on track to surpass the Government’s ‘worst case scenario’ projection of 85,000 deaths, concerning data suggests.

In a newly-published leaked paper that was circulated through Downing Street over summer, SAGE – the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies – warned that daily Covid-19 fatalities could rise to as many as 100 a day by the end of October.

But there are at least twice as many Covid-19 deaths occurring in the UK currently, with the seven-day rolling average number of victims currently at 230. There were 280 fatalities recorded today and 310 on Wednesday.

The SAGE projection also forecast about 18,000 new infections by this time of the year and fewer than 500 daily hospital admissions. However, the current reality of the UK’s second wave is even more dire than the scientists predicted.

By October 21, the most recently published NHS figures showed there were 1,227 Covid-19 sufferers admitted to hospitals, more than double the ‘worst case scenario’. There are, on average, 22,125 new people infected with the disease every day, according to official figures from the Department of Health.

But this is widely considered a vast underestimate of the true number of cases. The central testing programme is missing asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections, and is struggling to ramp up swabbing capacity needed to catch these people.

An Imperial College London study commissioned by the Government yesterday estimated the real number of daily infections was closer to 100,000 – which is more than five times greater than SAGE’s prediction.  For comparison, the Government announced 23,065 new cases today.

Boris Johnson is under growing pressure from scientists for a national ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown or a return to the kind of restrictions the country faced in spring.  

Already, almost 30million people in England are living in tougher restrictions than the rest of the country and 8million are in the harshest of Mr Johnson’s three-tier lockdown system. 

And it appears increasingly likely that 6million more residents in the West Midlands, North East and West Yorkshire will be dragged into a Tier Three lockdown this week, as Number 10 continues to rely on its ‘whack-a-mole’ strategy to try to contain the disease.

Scientists have warned the second wave of coronavirus could result in 85,000 deaths, almost double the number of victims from the first epidemic

The newly-released SAGE document claims that late February next year would see deaths peak at around 800 a day, with the potential for 25,000 in hospital at the worst part of the peak and as many as 5,000 in intensive care in England by March.

It said that under a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ government scientists expect 356,000 to be hospitalised this winter. It added there are likely to be at least 500 deaths a day for ‘at least’ three months between December and February, meaning 85,000 could be dead by the end of March.

The leaked report warns of a second wave of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalisations far worse than the first wave, dragging on until March or April of 2021. 

The revelations came as a new Imperial College study found nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of the surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first. 

Experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25.  

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

The latest official study, released last night, was conducted by Imperial College London researchers and based on random swab testing of 86,000 across England between October 16 and 25

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Rates of the disease also increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64 at 1.20 per cent, up three-fold from 0.37 per cent in a week. In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81 per cent, having doubled from 0.35 per cent. Rates remained highest in 18 to 24-year olds at 2.25 per cent

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) - more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

Imperial researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and October 25. In total, 863 were positive (1.28 per cent) – more than double the 0.6 per cent the week before. Pictured: How cases have surged since summer, according to findings from all six phases of the study

MINISTERS DRAG ANOTHER 16 AUTHORITIES INTO TIER TWO LOCKDOWN 

Ministers today dragged another 16 authorities into Tier Two, as Britain creeps another step closer to a de facto lockdown and the UK today confirmed another 23,065 positive test results and 280 deaths.

Cases are up 8.6 per cent on the 21,242 announced last Thursday, while deaths have increased by 48 per cent in the same time.    

The areas entering Tier Two are: East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Dudley, Staffordshire, Telford and the Wrekin, Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, the whole of High Peak in Derbyshire, Charnwood, Luton and Oxford City.

All of the areas will be hit by tougher restrictions banning socialising indoors with anyone they don’t live with from Saturday, the Department of Health confirmed. 

The key factor of Tier Two rules is the ban on indoor socialising with anyone from another household, which rules out meeting in pubs, restaurants, private homes or anywhere outside of work. People are advised not to travel more than necessary and must continue to follow the rule of six outdoors and adhere to all other national social distancing restrictions.

Department of Health officials announced the tier change for those areas this afternoon, but did not upgrade any places to Tier Three. That move had been expected for parts of the North East, where local officials have been discussing it, but they have agreed it is not yet necessary for the region.    

Political leaders there today said that spiking cases had been down to students and were now plateauing, and data would be carefully monitored and officials would meet again on Monday.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today resisted calls from the Government’s scientific experts for another national lockdown as he said ‘you can’t have a stop-start country’ and the ‘very firm view’ remains that a ‘circuit breaker’ is not the right way forward. 

However, he conceded the ‘virus is in a bad place in all parts of the country’ as he urged the nation to ‘redouble our efforts’ to comply with existing coronavirus rules in order to slow the spread of infection.    

His comments came after the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) piled fresh pressure on Boris Johnson to impose tougher restrictions as it warned up to 85,000 people could die in a second wave. 

A ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ put forward by SAGE suggested daily deaths could remain above 500 for three months or more until March next year.    

<!—->Advertisement

It found the spread of the virus accelerated dramatically in the past fortnight, with the number of new cases doubling every nine days. The national R rate is almost 1.6.

Around one in 80 tested positive, suggesting there are around 96,000 new infections a day. Experts believe this is close to the level at the peak of the epidemic in March, warning of an inevitable ‘exponential’ increase in deaths and hospitalisations.

Nearly 100,000 people in England are catching Covid-19 every day, the R rate in London is almost THREE – and one in 75 Brits are currently infectious, new Imperial study finds 

Nearly 100,000 Britons are getting infected with coronavirus every day, according to results of Government-led surveillance study that suggests the UK is hurtling towards a second peak that could rival the first.

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial College London experts behind the research warned cases were just weeks away from surpassing levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were slightly more than 100,000 daily cases in spring, which led to over 40,000 deaths in the first wave. 

The study warned infections are doubling every nine days, suggesting there could be 200,000 daily cases by the first week of November. 

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial’s best guess is that 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people. Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 per cent) and the North West (2.3 per cent).

The study, which will likely be used to pile more pressure on No10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate — the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects — was nearly three in London, a finding the researchers described as ‘scary’. It was lower in the North West, where millions of people are living under draconian lockdowns.

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

<!—->Advertisement

If the current growth rate continues, more than 200,000 a day will be getting infected by next weekend.

The authors said current measures were not working and there had to be a change before Christmas. If more stringent steps are to be taken, it should be ‘sooner rather than later’.

The study said: ‘We estimate 960,000 individuals are harbouring SARS-CoV-2 virus in England on any one day.

‘Whether via regional or national measures, it is now time-critical to control the virus and turn R below one if further hospital admissions and deaths from Covid-19 are to be avoided.’  

The experts said the national R rate – the average number infected by someone with the virus – was now 1.56, up from 1.16 at the beginning of October.

Lead author Professor Paul Elliott said: ‘Everything has got worse in every region. There is now rapid growth in the South where there are fewer cases.

‘We are seeing a pattern in the South which is similar to what we saw in the North a few weeks back.’

He added: ‘We are at a critical period in the second wave. There was a period when the rate of rise was decreasing and we were hopeful that the policies that have been implemented were turning the rates down.

‘But what we see this time is an increase in the rate of rise and not only a high prevalence in the North, but rapidly increasing prevalence in the South.’

Co-author Professor Steven Riley said scientists were particularly concerned by rising levels of infection among older age groups.

The study showed prevalence increased across all age groups, with the greatest rise in those aged 55-64, now at 1.2 per cent, up from 0.37 per cent a month ago. 

The REACT-1 project — which has been swabbing tens of thousands of people every week — estimated there were around 96,000 people getting infected every day in England by October 25.

Imperial researchers said it was possible that the recent wet and dreary weather had played a role in the surge in infections, by driving people indoors where the virus finds it easier to spread. But they warned it was more likely a small dip in adherence to social distancing rules across the board had opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread more rapidly.

Imperial suggests that as many as 1.3 per cent of everyone living in England was carrying the disease by October 25, the equivalent of one in 75, or 730,000 people.  

The study also estimated the virus’ reproduction ‘R’ rate was nearly three in London. It was lower in the North West, where millions of people are living under draconian lockdowns.

Overall, the R rate was around 1.6 across England in the most recent week, compared to 1.16 in the previous round. Experts have repeatedly warned it is critical the reproduction rate stays below the level of one to prevent cases from spiralling. 

The quickening spread of the virus across many parts of England is indicative of the second wave reaching a critical stage, scientists say. 

The north is no longer seeing the fastest growth of cases – as the spread was seen to be increasing most rapidly in the south and the midlands, with London enduring the highest R rate – at 2.86. 

The study said that patterns of growth rate and the age distribution of cases in the south are now ‘similar to those [previously] observed in northern regions’.  

Steven Riley, an infectious disease expert who co-led the study, warned the country was hurtling towards a repeat of the crisis in spring and there now ‘had to be a change’ – either in public adherence or in policy – befpre Christmas to avoid another catastrophic death toll.

He said: ‘There’s a clear trend that hospital admissions are rising exponentially. Our data shows this exponential rise is to continue over the next two weeks.

‘Comparing [the winter wave] to the very peak in March is difficult, it’s probably still a bit lower [now] and the overall rate of growth is still lower.

‘But being slightly lower and slightly slower than March still means it is going up quickly and is already at a high level.’

The decision by Mr Macron to last night announce a new national lockdown in France will pile the pressure on Number 10. 

The French President claimed that 400,000 people will die of coronavirus if the country did nothing to control a second wave of infections that will be ‘more deadly than the first’.

The national measures will take effect from Friday morning until December 1 and are considered to be ‘more flexible’ than the country’s first lockdown, with all public services, schools and essential workplaces to remain open.

But people on the streets will still have to carry documents justifying their reason for leaving home – that will be subject to police checks – and bars and restaurants will close. 

State-approved reasons for leaving home include buying essential goods, seeking medical attention or taking a daily one-hour allocation of exercise.        

It came as six million more people in England were poised to be stung by Tier Three lockdown restrictions this week amid spiralling coronavirus cases.

It means 14 million people across England could be living under the top tier of coronavirus curbs by the weekend. Currently there are eight million residents in Tier Three towns, cities and boroughs in Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire.  

Last night, Nottinghamshire announced it was heading for a Tier Three lockdown and became the first county to agree to a ban on selling alcohol after 9pm, if booze is bought to consume off premises. There are fears it has set a precedent and that other regions could be forced to comply with restrictions that go above and beyond standard Tier Three measures.

Source: Daily Mail

Related posts

NCC remits N362.34 billion into Nigerian government’s consolidate revenue fund in five years – official

InterNewsCast

UK signs another deal for 90,000,000 more potential vaccine doses

InterNewsCast

Can popping a pill ever beat obesity? We ask the experts for the pros and cons

InterNewsCast

Leave a Comment