Recent data on coronavirus mortality and infection rates in the UK are very encouraging, and although a third infection was possible in late summer, it is unlikely to overwhelm the NHS, said leading epidemiologist Neil Ferguson.
Professor Ferguson of Imperial College London, who advises the government, said we are not completely back to normal, but are quite optimistic that it will feel a lot more mediocre by summer.
Ferguson, who reported one Covid death on Monday and reported infection levels to the lowest in eight months in the UK, said: The data is very encouraging and very consistent with what we expected.
Cases are indeed stagnant now and may begin to increase mortality, but deaths and hospitalizations are still declining, and are expected to increase slightly over the next month, but will only progress within manageable levels. That’s why we can loosen some restrictions in a few weeks while keeping the government roadmap and then relax more in June.
The concerns he and his team had about late summer and fall are dwindling, and studies show that people who have been vaccinated are less infected. And that pushed our estimates of the magnitude of the potential fall wave.
Ferguson added that the risk of the vaccine’s becoming less effective when confronted with strains is still a major concern that could lead to a very important third wave in the fall.
Basically, it was imperative to distribute boosters to prevent vaccinations that had to be completed by summer as soon as they were vaccinated for the adult population.
When international travel is safely resumed, he said it would be one major warning if vaccinations were weakened by strains like South Africa spreading in an uncontrolled way.
However, he added that there are no risks associated with traveling abroad, for example, if the infection levels in France and Italy are equal to those in the UK by summer.
The risk arises from places like the UK where infection levels are very low, where there is a risk of regaining the infection by moving to much higher levels of infection, he told the BBC Radio 4s Today program. Foreign vacation yourself.
Ferguson said the following on the outlook that he will remove more than a meter rule for social distancing in June. We’ve incorporated these into the modeling we’ve been working on. To be clear, if we are completely back to normal, we would expect contagion and hospitalizations and deaths to increase in late summer to some extent, but at a much lower level than we saw in December and January, for example.
So, while political judgments about what can be tolerated in terms of the number of infections are clear, it is unlikely that the NHS, for example, will be overwhelmed by the precautions for the already mentioned variants. So it’s always a matter of judgment.
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As long as those with symptoms are still quarantined and the testing and tracking system continues for at least a few months, it will keep some sort of cap on how quickly the infection can increase.
He says society will need a much higher level of infection to take the risk of overwhelming the NHS. And we don’t think it really will happen unless a variant comes out that resets that relationship again.
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