A second wave of coronavirus, this winter, could do up to 120, 000 deaths in the hospitals of the United Kingdom in a “worst-case scenario reasonable” without adequate preparation, according to a study by the Academy of medical sciences released on Tuesday.
“This is not a prediction, it is a possibility,” stressed in a press release professor Stephen Holgate, who led the production of this report by 37 experts, commissioned by the government of Boris Johnson.
The report warns that “intense preparation” is necessary, now, to reduce the risk that the public health service, the NHS, not to be submerged during the winter.
Some research suggests that the coronavirus – which has led to nearly 45,000 deaths in the United Kingdom, the country hardest hit in Europe – spread more during the cold season.
If the report underlines that there is a “high degree of uncertainty” about the evolution of the epidemic of COVID-19, a “worst case scenario reasonable”, which it is appropriate to prepare the table on an increase in the rate of reproduction of the virus to 1.7 from September. This figure, which corresponds to the average number of individuals infected by a carrier of the virus, is currently between 0.7 and 0.9 in the country.
The models established on the basis of such a scenario, evoke a peak of deaths and hospital admissions in January and February 2021 “similar or worse” than the first wave of the spring and which coincide with the peak of activity for the hospital system with seasonal illnesses.
The number of deaths related to the COVID-19 to the hospital between September 2020 and June 2021 could reach 119 900. However, this estimate does not take into account the government’s actions to reduce the rate of transmission nor the use of dexamethasone, a steroid that helps to reduce the mortality rate in seriously ill patients, temper the authors.
They advocate, among other things, implement an information campaign to the public, as well as tips intended in particular to frail people, increase the ability to test and defend against the most serious effects of the flu by vaccinating those at risk and health personnel.