Coronavirus in the UK: Scientists warn of tougher times ahead


Written by Adonis Hakk

November 16, 2021

As of November first week, the UK’s total cumulative cases has already reached 9,171,660 with 41,299 new cases. Although this daily tally is still high, there has been a downward trend in the number of cases since it peaked at 56,675 on October 18.  In the past seven days, the country tallied 277,837 new cases, with a 9.7% decrease since the past week (October 21 to 27).

The number of deaths in the country also totalled 164,491 as of November first week, with 217 new cases on the day. The past seven days recorded 1,141 new deaths, revealing a 13% increase in the number of COVID-related deaths since the past week’s 1,010.

Coronavirus in the UK: 
Scientists warn of tougher times ahead

While the trend of deaths due to COVID is low, the high number positivity rate is alarming given the country’s speedy vaccination rollout. The number of persons who received the first vaccine dose totals approximately 50,071,683, while 45,752,487 already got the second dose. Moreover, around 8.6 million individuals have also received a booster or third dose of the vaccine.

Experts glean the high COVID cases in the UK for various reasons. Some of the mentioned reasons included the half-hearted mask adoption by residents and the large outdoor gatherings. Moreover, the Government’s hesitation to vaccinate the younger population and the return to schools also contribute to the rising cases, especially in children.

The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) program’s round 15 interim report showed that mid to late October garnered the highest weighted prevalence of 1.72% since the study started in May 2021. The prevalence rate depicts the percentage of the population who had SARS-CoV-2. The increased prevalence over September’s 0.83% was observed across age groups and regions, except Yorkshire and Humber.

According to the report, children have the highest weighted prevalence – aged 5-12 years old with 5.85% and 13-17 years old with 5.75%. At the regional level, South West garnered the highest increase in weighted prevalence, from 0.59% in September to 2.18% in October. Moreover, sequencing of the positive samples also revealed that all were Delta or Delta sub-lineage variants.

The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned the ministers to act early on the UK’s increasing Covid infections. However, amidst urgent warnings, the government has repeatedly said that it is yet to implement ‘Plan B’. Part of these measures to be observed under the plan is the mandatory face covering, reintroduction of working from home guidance, and the monitoring of Covid variants among the others.

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