A drop in Covid-19 cases and a “higher” number of hospital admissions across the UK have raised hopes that a return to daily life is imminent.
The decrease in reported new infections shows that Omicron the last wave may have “passed the peak”, said New Scientist. Latest government data shows that as of yesterday, the weekly tally has dropped by nearly 42% to just over 700,000.
Scientists advising the government have predicted a “new wave” of the variant in early summer as people “recontinue social activities and decline in immunity”, the report Guardians. But the rapid rollout of the booster vaccine programme, and the relatively less severe nature of Omicron, have raised confidence that the UK will be able to cope.
Experts from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said they were “increasingly convinced that worst-case scenarios for the current wave are highly unlikely”, the paper continued.
Even so, scientists predicted at a meeting earlier this month that “hospitalization rates in the UK will remain high for some time due to the very high number of infections and the risk of continued hospitalisation. elderly and unvaccinated adults in general”.
David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on Covid-19, said: “Looking at it from the UK’s point of view, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. Sky News in Monday. But the emergence of new mutations could make things “bumpy before we get to the end”, he said.
“So while it may be tempting to start to imagine that the end of the pandemic is not far away, everyone should be ready for the possibility that there will be more variations and mutations, or there will be additional challenges. , other Omicron outbreaks are coming,” added Nabarro.
Experts told Live Science that the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant is “predictable” based on current worldwide Covid-19 infection rates and mutation rates.
Not every variant will be “competitive” enough to become as popular as the Omicron variant, or Delta previously, said Karen Mossman, a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University in Ontario. But future variants could achieve what the website describes as a “competitive advantage” by being “easier to transmit than Omicron while causing less serious disease”.
“The virus needs to spread and spread to new hosts,” explains Mossman. And “the most successful viruses do this by spreading rapidly without causing symptoms,” because infected people continue to circulate and spread bugs.
But on the other hand, she adds, “a set of mutations that confer a selective advantage can also cause more severe disease.”
For example, Live Science says, mutations that “enable the virus to replicate extremely rapidly or escape the clutches of antibodies that prevent it from entering cells,” can also cause viruses are more likely to trigger a more severe infection.
Ebola, HIV and smallpox are all diseases that have not decreased in severity even though they have existed for decades, even hundreds of years.
Living with Covid
Based on walkie talkie, Boris Johnson “wants to permanently repeal the coronavirus emergency law that has governed how the public can live for almost two years”.
With scientists predicting that the virus is unlikely to disappear completely, the government is said to be keen on adopting the “learn to live with Covid” approach.
There is much speculation that the Plan B restrictions will end on January 26, a review date set by the prime minister when the rules were in place last month. Johnson is also said to be considering a proposal to remove the legal requirement for infected people to self-isolate.
Under the plans, “official guidance will be maintained to encourage people to behave in certain ways, but will not result in fines or legal penalties if ignored,” the paper said.
Government scientific advisers and healthcare leaders have warned against lifting Plan B restrictions “soon”, Financial Times reported.
In minute From a January 7 Sage meeting published on Friday, advisers warned that the current wave “still has the potential to continue to grow nationally.”
Removing the Plan B restrictions before the peak is over could lead to changes in behavior and “increase the overall impact of this wave on admissions,” the experts said. institute”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/uk-news/955439/living-with-covid-expert-predictions-for-the-next-stage-of-the-pandemic ‘Living with Covid’: expert predictions for the next phase of the pandemic