UK Covid-19: Boris Johnson explained the pandemic anything but over. Now the cases are rising

“We sacrifice our chance to see loved ones this Christmas so we have a better one chance of protecting their lives so we can see them on future Christmas,” Johnson said, met a potential career determinant step that he had ruled out just days earlier.

But the Delta variant — more is still transferable than the Alpha strain die wrecked last year’s festivities – has not disappeared.

The country has quietly endured high cases, hospitalizations and deathsin comparison met the rest of Europe. Great Britain almost registered half a million cases in the past two weeks — and almost 50,000 on Monday — more than France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined. UK reported 223 deaths on Tuesday, the highest daily rate since begin March.

Johnson has strayed from much of the European Union in his approach; while a number of countries on the continent has introduced vaccine passports, England stopped met to be original plans to do that. Mask-wearing and social keep your distance and other measures are no longer required according to the law in Britain.

that contrasts with much stricter measures in several European countries, where the evidence of vaccination of a negative test needed to visit bars and restaurants of work in different areas, including healthcare.

hospitals in Britain is now almost once in the trouble came again under the pressure of new recordings. And the early vaccination of the country success runs the risk of being undone by a stuttering rollout of booster shots and shots for children.

“Exceptional Policy lead to exceptional results,” said Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University in London, told CNN. “It’s very predictable. This is a consequence of open all up.”

“We’re approaching winter and it’s only going to get worse,” she says added.

Some things are still possible shut back down; Johnson’s spokesperson admitted on Monday that there is a “challenging” winter in ahead, and the prime minister has refused to do that rule out a return of mask mandates of tougher restrictions to protect the country’s National Health Service (NHS) in the coming weeks.

But experts — including Johnson’s own health chiefs — are clamoring for for An more urgent change in approximation.

The NHS Confederation, die providers represents of the service, urged the . on on government on Wednesday to met move to his “Plan B” raft of measures, including vaccination in European style passes and more mask mandates. But the government has ruled out Which move for now, only insisting that it closely monitors the case numbers in kept an eye out.

“There is a whole” series of ways (in those were out of line with Western Europe and the rest of the worldsaid Martin McKee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and tropical medicine.

“We have seen in other European countries that collective measures are a big difference,” he said. “We have should ask ourselves: are we right? (Because) there’s no evidence that we are.”

Dinners in London after the restrictions in the UK were lifted this summer.

Rollout of a stuttering vaccine

The driver behind Britain’s renewed optimism in the new year was the vaccination? program, die the most surpassed countries in its starting scale and set the narrator for what Johnson portrayed as Britain’s victorious emergence by the pandemic.

But the country is struggling to die repeat early successes as it tries to vaccinate and roll adolescents out booster shots for the elderly and at-risk people.

“England’s booster rollout won’t last” pace with the rollout of first and second vaccine doses,” John Roberts, a consultant with the Covid-19 Actuaries Response group die keeps vaccination records, warned in a statement on Monday.

More than a month after the booster shots started, less than half of twice-vaccinated over-the 80s have a top-up. “To be clear that accelerating the booster rollout is vital for reduce the pressure on health services and minimize the number of Covid-related deaths this fall and winter,” he said.

The group estimated that, on current pace, the 22 million people that makes up the countries higher-risk groups wont vaccinated three times until the end of January, despite initial government promises that the program would protect people for the winter.

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Vaccines stay reduce the number of Covid-19 patients who need hospital treatment, but declining immunity makes the pace of especially the rollout is important. The majority of over-40s in Britain was originally vaccinated with the partially homegrown Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, whose efficacy against the Delta variant was found to be lower than the Pfizer and Moderna shots.

AN pre-print of a Public Health England (PHE) survey found that’s the shot protection against infection decreased from 66.7% to 47% after 20 weeks, compared met a drop from 90% to 70% for the Pfizer vaccine. Separate PHO research found that the efficacy of AstraZeneca against hospitalization of Delta slipped just above 90% to just less than 80% after 140 days, while its efficacy against death remained close to 90%. Pfizer stayed above 90% in both standards.

Many experts blame the lack of momentum in UK vaccination drive on months’ worth of positive reassurances from Johnson’s government.

“All of the government’s messages and actions suggest that we… out of danger’ said Gurdasani.

“There has been a lot” of reports that the pandemic in being is over, that much of people thinking: “why make it difficult?” added McKee.

Teens in England has to wait to get vaccinated in school, which has hampered the rollout.

There are also concerns on the other side of the age spectrum, the way the NHS works to vaccinate over-12s and avoid a repeat of the unbridled transmission in schools die have disrupted a lot of the summer term in June and July.

Which program past false start amid conflicting early opinions from the country’s scientific bodies; whereas France, for started for example met vaccinate under the age of 18 in June, the British government only green illuminates the move in September.

1.2 million teenagers are now given one dose of a vaccine and just 260,000 have seen two doses in England.

“The problem isn’t that adolescents don’t? want taking. There are many who are desperate to get it, but are not yet offered it in school,” Gurdasani said.

Schools have complained over a shortage of vaccinating staff, and the England delay in young people to visit national vaccine centers saw it fall behind Scotland in vaccinating the age group.

“There is a loss” of direction here,” said McKee. “It’s not… clear who’s in to upload.”

British hospitals brace themselves for a cold winter

The Covid-19 figures in Great Britain rise above many of Europe’s, but are mitigating measures remain minimal.

“The government is completely dependent on the vaccination program, die now goes on in a very half-heartfelt way’ said McKee. ‘There really needs to be an urgent review of where we are different from others countries, and a review: should we are different? What is the reason?”

McKee joined many experts in calling for An package of measures die reflect the continent. various European countries, including France and Italy, have rolled out COVID-19 passes and required vaccination for health professionals, while many more still using mask mandates in crowded spaces die the UK does not have.
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Johnson, on the other hand, has walked back initial plans similar measures in to feed. “Vaccine passes have an important one role until play; the French and the Italians experience show they do,” McKee said. Case counts have remained low in both countries since the introduction of the measures.

Healthcare is transferred in the UK and vaccine passes have been announced in Wales and Scotland. Johnson keeps them in the meantime in reserve under his “Plan B” scenario for England — but with such high infection rates every day, many wonder why Plan A is still there in effect.

“We have extremely high infection rates in children (and) they spilled over in the elderly population’ said Gurdasani. “We’re approaching winter and it’s only going to get worse.”

Covid fatigue below the public is another challenge. Mass events on our way with no vaccination requirements and few traces of the pandemic still remains on British shopping streets during busy periods.

only 40% of Brits still regular practice social keep your distance, compared met 62% in half July and 85% in April, according to the office for National statistics. The same recurring study has also found a gradual decline in mask-wearing.

For some, die trend alarming. “We’ve had 30 to 40,000 cases every day for months now. There is no other country that tolerates that … (but) it is normalized” in the UK, Gurdasani said.

A row of ambulances in London in January.  Health workers fear similar scenes this winter if infections persist climb.

The steady stream of hospital admissions have not increased dramatically in the past two months, but not noticeable declined of; official figures show more than 700 new patients die enter the hospital every day.

That leaves hospitals already struggling until work due to a backlog of treatments die were postponed during the pandemic, in waiting for another winter wave.

Last week NHS England said: more people we are waiting for treatment than ever before since it started met keeping records — 5.7 million — as health workers experienced their busiest September on record this year.

“There’s no doubt the NHS is getting hot, with the highest ever number of seen patients in A&E in September 14-times as many covid patients in hospital compared met same month last year and record 999 ambulance calls”, professor Stephen Powis, the NHS national medical director, said of the figures.

That direction the winter lasts is still not inevitable. “There are so many unknowns,” McKee said, noting that previous expected peaks in infections this year have not come true.

But experts and hospital staff fear a further burden. “It is no place where most health workers want to be,” added Gurdasani. “It really scares me that we… in this place forward of the winter.”

And, like the year wind down, the nature of British second pandemic christmas remains not clear.

Read More: World News


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