Experts have cautioned that a new wave of Covid-19 is “reasonably certain” to hit the UK and advised people to use face masks once more.
A new form of the coronavirus has appeared, hospital admissions for it have increased recently, and governments have chosen not to administer Covid boosters to roughly 12 million Britons this winter as the effectiveness of the vaccine is waning.
Christina Pagel, a member of the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that provides advice on the virus, cautioned that without stepping up surveillance and in the face of declining immunity, we are traveling into winter more exposed and with blinkers on.
Prof. Pagel warned the next wave might put a tremendous amount of strain on the healthcare system, possibly resembling the “unprecedented” NHS crisis that Covid, the flu, and a respiratory infection caused last winter at the same time.
She stated in the British Medical Journal that “any increase in hospital burden is bad news, given record waiting lists for diagnosis and treatment and persistently high wait times in hospitals for admission.”
“Infection is also not harmless just because there are fewer hospital admissions; long-term Covid remains a significant problem, endangering people’s lives (for example, through chronic fatigue or brain fog), as well as forcing them out of the workforce.”
She also cautioned that a brand-new strain that differs significantly from earlier strains could render “hard-won protection much less protective”.
iSage member and medical expert Dr. Trisha Greenhalgh posted on social media, “My numerous science WhatsApp groups are buzzing… I don’t fully comprehend the details, but it appears that MASK UP is once more necessary.
When asked if they should be worn once more, she responded, “In high-risk scenarios, I personally would wear one. More importantly, I’m presently AVOIDING such circumstances, such as by skipping the movies.
As hospital admissions increased and the expected number of patients with Covid increased by over 200,000 last month, the new Covid variety, Eris, debuted this summer.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), a descendant of Omicron known as Eris, or EG.5.1, now represents between 10% and 16.74% of cases and is the second-most widespread strain in the UK.
Under-50s and the majority of under-75s have not received a vaccine in 18 months, according to Prof. Pagel.
Protection from prior infections will also start to wane in the absence of a significant wave for several months, she said.
“It is therefore likely that this wave is hitting a more susceptible population than the last few, and this might be enough to drive a large wave this September when combined with the return to school and work and more time spent inside, where the virus spreads most easily,” the authors write.
No indications exist that Eris is more hazardous than other variations.
A variation of this disease may spread widely before we realized it was a problem, Prof. Pagel said, “Given few, if any, mitigations worldwide and much lower surveillance.”
She also alerted authorities to a brand-new, as of yet nameless, strain with numerous new alterations that was found in Israel and Denmark. People are more vulnerable now, she said, albeit it can evaporate.
Since the cessation of wastewater monitoring in March of last year, the discontinuation of the Covid-19 survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics in March of this year, and the progressive reduction of testing in hospitals, there are few options to monitor the prevalence of Covid-19 in England.
Cases were believed to have reached their lowest level since the summer of 2020 on July 7. However, daily hospital admissions have increased since the beginning of last month and were more than double the amount from four weeks earlier on August 4.
The 1,802 patients admitted during the course of the previous seven days on that date indicated an increase of 366 over the previous week, or a 26% increase.
1,844 Covid patients were hospitalized in total, an increase that is assumed to be in part due to increasing social interaction indoors during inclement weather.