UK News Sage projected deaths ‘highly likely to exceed reasonable worse case scenario’
Coronavirus deaths rise for FIFTH week in a row in England and Wales
A weekly report by the Office for National Statistics showed there were 438 deaths in the week up to October 9, increasing from 321 the week before and doubling 215 the week before that.Deaths from the disease have now been rising continuously since September 11, when the trend turned after 19 straight weeks of decline in the wake of March's lockdown.
The Government’s expert advisers said that coronavirus infections and hospital admissions were exceeding the worse case scenario planning levels four days before Boris Johnson announced the three-tier system of restrictions.
A document from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) summarising the Sage meeting of October 8 said incidence and prevalence across the UK continue to increase with data showing “clear increases” in hospital and ICU admissions, particularly in the North of England.
SAGE told time to death of Covid-19 patients is shorter than in April
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) was presented with evidence in September that said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth.The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) said the UK did not have the capability to research these mutations in depth and whether they would be harmful.
The paper said projections indicate the number of deaths is “highly likely” to exceed Reasonable Worst Case Scenario (RWCS) planning levels within the next two weeks.
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“Well over 100 new deaths per day are projected to occur within 2 weeks, even if strict new interventions are put in place immediately,” the document said, adding: “In all scenarios the epidemic is still growing.”
Four days after the Sage meeting, on October 12, the Prime Minister announced England would be placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels – or Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 – under a new tier system of restrictions aimed at tackling the virus.
UK is recording more Covid-19 deaths per million people than the US
Two people for every million in the population are dying from Covid-19 in the UK and US every day. But the UK's seven day average is slightly higher, at 2.63 compared to 2.4.Both countries are currently recording around two Covid-19 deaths for every million people — but Britain's rate stands slightly higher at 2.63, compared to 2.4 in the US.
At a Downing Street press conference that day alongside Mr Johnson, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty – a member of Sage – said he was “not confident” that the “base case” for Tier 3 proposals “would be enough to get on top of it”.
The newly published Sage document comes as the effectiveness of the three-tier system is more widely being called into doubt, with the NHS Test and Trace system recording its highest ever weekly number of positive cases and a study by Imperial College London finding that almost 100,000 people are catching Covid-19 every day.
Experts are suggesting a more national approach is needed to address the soaring infection rate, with the expectation that the current trajectory is likely to result in nearly everywhere in England in at least Tier 2 before Christmas.
Since the three-tier system has been implemented, the number of deaths announced on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard has exceeded 100 on every day except two – and on a couple of days more than 300 deaths were announced.
Britain's Covid-19 deaths rise by 55% in a week, ONS data shows
An Office for National Statistics report released today showed 761 Brits fell victim to the disease in the week ending October 16. It is the highest weekly death toll since June 19.Office for National Statistics figures showed 761 Brits fell victim to the disease in the week ending October 16, the most recent recording period.
The document from October 8 also warns of the pressures faced by the NHS due to rising infections.
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“NHS data also show increases in hospital admissions, particularly in the North West, North East and Yorkshire.
“If there are no decisive interventions, continued growth would have the potential to overwhelm the NHS, including the continued delivery of non-Covid treatments,” the paper said.
The document said Sage has previously advised that a package of “non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPls) needs to be adopted to reverse the exponential rise in cases”, adding: “As previously, the earlier additional measures are introduced the more effective they will be. Longer-term sustained measures will also be essential.
“The interventions previously recommended for consideration are those which will have significant population-level impact on reducing transmission.
“Case control studies indicate that restaurants and bars are associated with increased transmission risk.”
A circuit-breaker was at the top of a shortlist of coronavirus interventions recommended to the Government by Sage more than a month ago.
The Sage document, dated September 21, said a package of interventions will be needed to reverse the exponential rise in cases.
Top of the list was a circuit-breaker, a short period of lockdown, “to return incidence to low levels”, followed by advice to work from home for all those that can.
Third on the list was “banning all contact within the home with members of other households (except members of a support bubble)”, and fourth was the closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, indoor gyms, and personal services such as hairdressers.
The final measure on the list was that all university and college teaching “to be online unless face-to-face teaching is absolutely essential”.
Keeping schools open could prolong lockdown, SAGE member warns .
University College London's Professor Andrew Hayward warned the 28-day lockdown could be extended if transmission remains high in secondary schools.Studies so far suggest the risk of getting ill from Covid-19 is low among children - but those in secondary school appear just as likely as adults to carry and spread the disease.