LONDON (Reuters) – A third pandemic outbreak has little effect on COVID-19 rates in England, researchers warned on Thursday, with the disease “too high” and “no evidence of decline” in the first 10 days. Of new restrictions.
Until COVID-19 rates drop significantly, health services will “remain under extreme pressure” and the number of deaths will continue to increase rapidly, said lead researchers from the REACT-1 prevalence study at Imperial College London.
“The number of COVID-19 inpatients (in hospital) is very high at the moment, and we cannot expect that until we can achieve a lower level of prevalence,” said Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics . Who co-led the work.
“The fact that (circulation) is not going down has potentially serious consequences.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson put England in a third national lockdown on 5 January, closing bars, restaurants and most schools and allowing only essential shops to open.
Ministers have appealed to the public to save hospitals from being overpowered as much as possible at home and allow the authorities time to apply COVID-19 vaccines to the elderly and those at greatest risk.
But presenting his latest data – from 6 January to 15 January – Riley said the prevalence rate was 1.58%, the highest recorded by the REACT-1 study since it began in May 1 2020. This is an increase of over 50% The last readout in mid-December.
Riley cautioned against immediate expectations on COVID-19 shots.
“The vaccine is only going to have a very limited impact on generality in the short term,” he told reporters.
Paul Elliott, an expert in epidemiology and public health medicine and director of the REACT program, said the stubborn level of COVID-19 infection could be due to the more transmitted type of virus that occurred at the end of last year.
“We have actually doubled public health measures – wear a face cover, keep your distance and wash your hands,” Elliott said. “Until we can reduce the trend, the pressure will continue.”
The British government on Wednesday registered a fresh daily record increase, with 1,820 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test. However, the new infections – at 38,905 – were below the recent peak of 68,053 on 8 January.
The Ministry of Health said the full impact of the lockdown would not be reflected in the prevailing figures yet, but the survey highlighted the importance of staying home and following restrictions.
Reporting by Kate Kelland. Additional reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Marl Potter