JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

'Worst-case' UK winter could see 120,000 COVID deaths in second wave

Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 09:46 GMT+7
'Worst-case' UK winter could see 120,000 COVID deaths in second wave
The hand of a patient grips the rail of a hospital bed in the X-ray department at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Blackburn, Britain, May 14, 2020. Photo: Reuters

LONDON -- Britain faces a potentially more deadly second wave of COVID-19 in the coming winter that could kill up to 120,000 people over nine months in a worst-case scenario, health experts said on Tuesday.

With COVID-19 more likely to spread in winter as people spend more time together in enclosed spaces, a second wave of the pandemic “could be more serious than the one we’ve just been through,” said Stephen Holgate, a professor and co-lead author of a report by Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS).

“This is not a prediction, but it is a possibility,” Holgate told an online briefing. “Deaths could be higher with a new wave of COVID-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately.”

The United Kingdom’s current death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 is around 45,000, the highest in Europe. Including suspected cases, more than 55,000 people have died, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources.

The AMS said there is a “high degree of uncertainty” about how the UK’s COVID-19 epidemic will evolve, but outlined a “reasonable worst-case scenario” where the reproduction number — or R value — rises to 1.7 from September 2020 onwards.

The R value — the average number of people an infected person will pass a disease on to — is currently between 0.7 and 0.9 in the UK and daily case and death numbers are falling. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth.

“The modelling estimates 119,900 hospital deaths between September 2020 and June 2021,” the AMS report said, more than double the number that occurred during the first wave.

AMS vice president Anne Johnson said a bad winter flu season, combined with large backlog of patients suffering other diseases and chronic conditions, would add to huge pressure on health services — underlining a need to prepare now.

“COVID-19 has not gone away,” she said. “We need to do everything we can to stay healthy this winter.”

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Latest news