July 18, 2024

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The UK has more Covid cases than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined

The UK has more Covid cases than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined

In December last year, when the first worrying variables of COVID-19 spread by United kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson He made the unpopular decision to scrap Christmas plans for millions of Britons.

Johnson said, taking a significant step in his career — a move he had just reigned over just a few days ago. From before.

Ten months later, the UK’s attitude toward Covid-19 has changed beyond recognition. Almost all restrictions in England were lifted in July, with the events and hospitality sectors returning to full capacity. Johnson urged Britons to “start learning how to live with this virus”.

More than an alternative Delta (more transmissible than the alpha strain that ruined last year’s plans) it hasn’t gone away. The country has quietly seen a higher number of resistant cases, hospitalizations and deaths than the rest of Europe. Great Britain has recorded nearly half a million cases in the past two weeks (there were nearly 50,000 cases on Monday (18)), more than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. The UK recorded 223 deaths on Tuesday (19), the highest daily number since early March.

Boris Johnson differed from most EU leaders in his approach. Although many countries on the continent have introduced passports for vaccines, England has put on hold its original plan to do so. The wearing of masks, social distancing and other measures are no longer required by law in Great Britain. This is in contrast to the stricter procedures in many European countries, where proof of vaccination or a negative test is required to visit bars and restaurants or work in various sectors. Including in health.

Hospitals in Britain are now close to collapsing again under the pressure of new admissions. At the same time, the success of early vaccination in the country is at risk
To abolish it by launching a limp for booster vaccination and vaccination of children.

“Extraordinary policies lead to exceptional results,” said Deepti Gordasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University of London. CNN. “It’s very predictable
As a result, open everything. We are approaching winter and things will only get worse.”

Some services may have to be closed. The prime minister’s spokesman acknowledged on Monday that a “difficult” winter was coming, and Johnson himself did not rule out a return to the requirement for masks or stronger restrictions to protect the NHS acronym) in the country in the coming weeks.

But experts (including Johnson’s chiefs of health) are pleading for a more urgent change of approach. The NHS consortium, which represents the government’s public service providers, urged the government on Wednesday (20) to adopt “Plan B” measures, which will include European-style vaccination passports and more requirements for masks. But the government has ruled out this measure for now, insisting only that it is closely monitoring case numbers.

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“There are a number of ways we are moving away from Western Europe and the rest of the world,” said Martin Mackey, professor of European public health in London.
College of Health and Tropical Medicine. We’ve seen in other European countries that collective action makes a big difference. We must ask ourselves: Are we right? There is no evidence that we are.”

slow release

The driver behind Britain’s renewed optimism in the new year was the vaccination programme, which has bypassed most countries in its initial scope and narrative setting.
Johnson said Britain was emerging victorious from the pandemic.

However, the country is struggling to replicate those early successes as it tries to vaccinate teens and give booster doses to the elderly and those at risk. “England’s release of the booster doses is failing to keep pace with the release of the first and second doses of the vaccine,” warned John Roberts, advisor to the Actuarial Response Group for Covid-19, which tracks vaccination numbers. Justice.

More than a month after the booster was started, less than half of those over 80 who had been vaccinated twice had received it. It is clear that hurry up the launch of reinforcements
It is essential to reduce pressure on healthcare services and reduce Covid-related deaths in the fall and winter. “

The group estimated that, at the current rate, the country’s most vulnerable 22 million people will not be vaccinated with three doses by the end of January, despite initial government promises that the program will protect people during this period. winter.

Vaccines continue to reduce the number of Covid-19 patients who need hospital treatment, but lowering immunity makes the pace of release more important. Most people over the age of 40 in Britain have been immunized with the vaccine it developed Oxford/AstraZeneca, whose efficacy against the delta variant has been shown to be less than that of vaccines from Pfizer NS modern.

A preprint study by Public Health England (PHE) found that protection against infection decreased from 66.7% to 47% after 20 weeks,
Compared to a 90% to 70% decrease in the Pfizer vaccine. Separate research from PHE found that AstraZeneca’s effectiveness against hospitalization in the delta decreased from just over 90% to just under 80% after 140 days, while its efficacy against death remained close to 90%. Pfizer stayed above 90% in both

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Many experts attribute the lack of momentum in the UK’s vaccination campaign to months of positive results from the Johnson government. “All the messages and government actions indicate that we are out of harm’s way,” Gordasani said.

Professor Mackie added: “There is a lot of messaging that the pandemic is basically over, so a lot of people think there is nothing to worry about.” There are also concerns at the other end of the age spectrum, with the NHS working to vaccinate people over 12 and prevent repeat transmission in schools.
Which cut off most of the seasons in June and July.

The program got off to a bad start amid conflicting initial advice from the country’s scientific bodies. while the FranceFor example, vaccination under the age of 18 began in
In June, the British government gave the green light for the change only in September.

So far, 1.2 million adolescents have received a dose of the vaccine and only 260,000 have received two doses in England. “The problem isn’t that teens don’t want it
pollinate “There are many who need the vaccine, but it is not yet available at school,” said epidemiologist Gordasani.

Schools complained of a lack of vaccination staff. England’s delay in allowing teenagers to visit national vaccination centers has led to people leaving the country
Scotland lags behind in vaccinating this age group.

“There is a loss of direction here,” Professor Mackie said. “It is not clear who is responsible.”

Winter must be harsh

Britain’s Covid-19 rates are much higher than those in Europe, but its mitigation measures are still minimal.

“The government is totally dependent on the vaccination programme, which is largely what is happening now,” Mackey said. “It is really necessary to urgently review where we differ from other countries, and assess whether we really should be different, and why.”

Professor Mackie joined several experts to request a package of measures that reflect what is happening on the continent. Several European countries, including France and ItalyAnd
They have Covid-19 passports and vaccinations for healthcare professionals, while many others still need masks in crowded places – something the UK does not do

On the other hand, the Prime Minister abandoned the initial plans to introduce similar measures. “Vaccines passports have an important role to play; French and Italian experiences show that it does,” Mackie said.

Cases have remained low in both countries since the measures were taken. Healthcare is mandated in the UK. Vaccine passports have been announced in Wales and Scotland. Meanwhile, Johnson is keeping them in England under a “Plan B” scenario. But with infection rates rising every day, many are wondering why “Plan A” is still operational.

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“We have very high infection rates among children and among the elderly,” said Dr. Gordasani. “It’s winter and things are going to get worse”

The fatigue of people from Covid-19 is another challenge. Overcrowding takes place without vaccination requirements and the effects of the epidemic are still few
On British streets during peak periods. Only 40% of Britons still practice social distancing regularly, compared to 62% in the middle.
July and 85% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics. The survey also found a gradual decrease in mask use.

For some, this trend is alarming. We’ve been recording 30,000 to 40,000 cases every day for months. No other country tolerates this, but it has been normalized” in the United Kingdom,
Des Jordanasani.

The steady stream of admissions hasn’t increased significantly over the past two months, but it hasn’t decreased either: Official figures show more than 700 new patients are entering hospitals and health centers every day.

That leaves hospitals, already struggling to cope with a backlog of treatments that have been delayed during the pandemic, anxiously awaiting another peak of winter.

Last week, NHS England said more people (5.7 million in total) were waiting for treatment than at any time since it started registering. Meanwhile, health teams had their busiest month of September ever

“There is no doubt that the NHS is busy, with the most patients registered in the emergency room in September, 14 times the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
Compared to the same month last year and the recording of ambulance calls,” said Professor Stephen Boyce, National Medical Director for the NHS.

The effect that winter will have can still be avoided. “There are a lot of unknowns,” Mackie said, noting that the expected rise in infections this year has not materialized. But experts and hospital officials fear a new strain will occur. “It’s not a place most health care workers would want,” added epidemiologist Gordasani. “Actually, I’m afraid we’re in this situation before winter.”

As the year goes on, the nature of Britain’s second Christmas epidemic remains elusive.

(Translated text click Here To read the original text in English).