Sage experts predict a resumption of cases: ‘blame’ for social life and vaccine protection that will drop
A new wave of covid infections linked to the Omicron variant in the summer. This is the scenario that in Great Britain the scientists of the Scientists Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), the panel of consultants that provide support to the government in the management of the coronavirus emergency, outline. Britain has dropped below 100,000 cases per day for the first time since 21 December. In about ten days, on January 26, the current anti-covid measures could be revised and reduced.
l Sage, however, is already projecting into summer, when social life will ‘explode’ and when the protection guaranteed by the third dose of the vaccine could drop significantly. The ‘worst case scenario’ – the worst hypothesis foreseen by the models – is judged all in all not very concrete: it is not believed, in essence, that we can get close to 4,000 daily hospitalizations. The wave “cannot be predicted with any certainty” in relation to its size and period, according to analysis by researchers at the University of Warwick.
If at least some of the measures currently in force are maintained, the models predict a daily number of hospitalizations ranging between nearly 1,000 and about 2,000. The estimates are complicated by a series of unknowns: the apparent lower severity of the disease caused by Omicron, the incubation times, the possible immunity guaranteed by infections that have already been overcome. In short, the picture is by no means defined.
In the meeting last January 7, the members of the Sage referred to persistent pressure on hospitals, especially for the admissions of elderly people. The peak of hospitalizations, however, is expected to be reached in January.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 3.73 million people in England – basically 1 in 15 – have been infected in the past week. In Scozua, Wales and Northern Ireland, the infection has reached one in 20 people. In London, the peak seems to have passed, but in other parts of England – particularly in the North West – the infection is galloping.