World The second wave forecast came true - but we don't know if lockdowns will work

01:45  28 october  2020
01:45  28 october  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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But, is any of it actually true and should we all be worried? No, it’s not a second wave . The only thing our lockdowns have done at this point is prolong the agony a little bit, and encouraged Health departments are encouraging everyone and anyone to come in for testing, and each positive test is

Amy has been working from home since the first lockdown in March but her main concern is for the economy. "My fear is the worry about how it is going to impact small business and the economy," she told CNN. The shop survived the first lockdown but Pangelli believes the second one could be fatal.

Last month Sir Patrick Vallance made a grim forecast.

a person holding a sign: The UK is experiencing a second wave of coronavirus © Reuters The UK is experiencing a second wave of coronavirus

He warned the country we were facing 50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-October and this figure would translate into 200 deaths a day a month later.

It seems the government's chief scientific adviser was right.

The UK recorded 367 deaths on Tuesday. This is the highest daily toll since 27 May and close to the 374 deaths recorded on 30 March, a week into the national lockdown.

This figure does not mean Sir Patrick's warning has been well surpassed. The 367 deaths were not lives lost in a single day.

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His comments come on the same day that the United States reported another 2.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week That brings In reference to states like California which have not reopened as quickly as others Trump said, “I don ’ t think the people are going to stand for it.”

But on the 22 October there were 199 COVID-19 deaths in the UK. That is the actual number of people who died on one day because of the virus. So we have reached Sir Patrick's figure weeks ahead of his prediction.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Sir Patrick Vallance warned the country would face 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases by mid-October © Getty Sir Patrick Vallance warned the country would face 50,000 daily COVID-19 cases by mid-October

These figures are likely to keep rising.

I spoke to a hospital employee in North West England, the region most affected by rising COVID-19 cases.

She told me her hospital's COVID-19 wards were full and the only empty beds in its ICU were the ones vacated by patients who had died.

I interviewed two patients in this ICU just two weeks ago. I learned today one had been discharged but, tragically, the other patient had died.

The rising infection rates were dismissed by some people a few weeks ago when the government made local interventions. It was argued these infections were mostly among younger, fitter people who would not fall sick or would present with minor symptoms.

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Europe’s governments are better equipped to deal with the second wave of the pandemic, but no one can definitively rule out more general lockdowns . Localized lockdowns have been effective in particular towns or regions that suffer sudden infection spikes.

But keeping lockdown measures until April would likely delay a second peak until October — giving healthcare workers a chance to regroup. "Our results won' t look exactly the same in another country," said Yang Liu, an LSHTM expert who also worked on the research. " But we think one thing

The counter-argument was that the virus could not be contained within this group of people and eventually, the virus would spread to more vulnerable people and that they would die.

The growing death toll would suggest the latter is true.

So is this the start of the second wave that has been predicted? There are scientific parameters for defining a second wave and strictly speaking, this autumn surge does not meet those.

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It means one epidemic has to be completely eradicated before a second one can start. It is argued this current outbreak in the UK has only been suppressed. But that hardly matters.

However it is defined, whatever it is called, there is no disputing we are in a renewed surge of deadly infections.

The warnings from hospitals in the North West is that we are going to see more people dying in the weeks to come.

That will almost certainly happen but we cannot be sure of the numbers. Sir Patrick's September forecast came ahead of the government's decision to impose tough local restrictions.

These are designed to break the chain of transmission of the virus but because there is a lag of several weeks between infections and resulting deaths we do not know if the lockdown will have the desired impact.

Everyone will hope they do.

'Half-measures don't work': Lockdown no longer a dirty word in COVID--weary Europe .
After a summer of excess, European countries are turning to strict national lockdowns in an effort to stop the fast-rising tide of coronavirus cases sweeping the continent.They were wrong.

usr: 1
This is interesting!