Over the past week, new positive coronavirus cases in the UK have decreased compared to the previous one, sparking the first hypothesis among analysts about a possible end to the third wave, which began in the country in mid-June last. The more contagious Delta version. About 230,000 cases were found in the last seven days: the situation remains difficult, but the number of hospitalizations due to the effects of the vaccination campaign is lower than in previous waves.
Vaccines appear to have had a greater effect than other measures to control the new wave. There are practically no restrictions in most parts of the UK, although it is still recommended to practice physical distancing and wear a mask in the most risky situations. Despite the absence of restrictions, the detection of new positive cases decreased significantly and in just a few weeks: in mid-July they exceeded 50 thousand per day, while in the last few days they were almost half.
It will still take a few days to establish whether the third wave in the country has indeed entered its downward phase, but experts are relatively optimistic and what is happening in the UK could be replicated in other countries such as Italy , where positive cases are continuing. . to be on the rise.
Several elements can explain the decrease in cases over the past few days.
The main one is the vaccination campaign, which has progressed at a good pace in the United Kingdom and has now led to 56 percent of the population being fully vaccinated (in Italy we are about 53 percent). Vaccines provide good protection against COVID-19 and have been shown to be highly effective against severe forms of the disease, significantly reducing hospitalizations and deaths.
Even good protection against the delta variant requires completing a vaccination cycle, usually with two doses. In the UK, in mid-June many people were still waiting to receive a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which required a longer wait time after the first administration. It is possible that the progressive increase in thorough vaccination over the past month has led to a better defense against the delta variant, ultimately reducing the impact of its spread.
The reduction in new positive cases may have been influenced by more responsible behavior on the part of many individuals, following a significant increase in infections starting June due to the delta type. The return of tens of thousands of new cases a day has prompted calls to reduce risky behaviors, support outdoor meetings for the summer, and greater use of masks and physical distancing, even though no longer mandatory in many circumstances. Ho.
Some analyzes speculate that the increase in cases between June and July may have affected the European Football Championship, given that many matches, including the final, were played in the United Kingdom. Limits to the public were lowered and crowds of fans took place in many cases, not just in stadiums. However, it is difficult to definitively derive an increase in cases from such incidents and studies and analyzes are still ongoing.
Take a look at the gender gap in Covid cases against the Euro. The bar graph is female cases in youth cases minus male cases. This suggests that this is a factor in the aftermath of the fall in the euro case. @FT pic.twitter.com/hke6Hz8DVQ
— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) July 27, 2021
There have been some changes in the amount of testing done in the past few weeks and this could affect case detection. Schools are over and as a result there are fewer tests among teachers and students, moreover some may have decided not to take tests even with some symptoms for fear of ruining their holidays.
Hospitals and Deaths
The third wave in the UK was not felt in hospitals like the previous two, largely thanks to vaccines. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 is around 6 thousand and continues to rise in recent days. As is well known, new positive cases tend to decrease later than hospitalizations because it takes time to recover.
If a reduction in infections were to be confirmed over the past few days, the first reduction in hospital admissions should be seen in a couple of weeks. The same delay applies to deaths, usually the last to be short.
For another reason, it will also take a few weeks to understand whether the third wave is in a downward phase in the United Kingdom. The time for lifting the latest restrictions is about ten days ago and their potential negative impact on the trend of infection is not yet visible. The first effects on minor limits can be assessed in about a week, when enough time has passed to get a more complete idea.
In 2020, cases of the new coronavirus dropped significantly during the summer, a period in which people spend more time outside and many places at high risk of infection, such as schools and offices, are less frequent. At that time, however, there was no such infectious form in circulation as Delta, which has the potential to spread very quickly. However its negative effects have been mitigated by the appearance of vaccines, which were not yet available in the summer of 2020.
Health officials and experts are wondering whether a new wave could come, with the arrival of cold weather, the reopening of schools and increased attendance in indoor environments.
Several other European countries and the United States have faced a significant increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, precisely because of the progressive spread of the delta variant. Although with some differences, the data shows trends comparable to those in the UK, with a notable delay due to the fact that the variant began to spread in the UK earlier than elsewhere.
In recent weeks, there has been a 145 percent increase in positive cases in the United States, particularly with an increase in hospitalizations among those who were not vaccinated. Currently, there are no signs of a slowdown in infections, so much so that US health officials have recently recommended wearing masks indoors in most high-risk situations.
In France, there has been a 350 percent increase in positive cases in the last 15 days, while the number of hospitalizations and deaths has remained low. There has been a more contained increase in new cases in recent days, but it is too early to establish whether the slowdown is as ongoing as it is in the United Kingdom.
In Spain, where cases increased earlier than other countries and again because of the delta variant, daily cases are exceeding 25 thousand per day, but the situation seems to be stabilizing. In Italy, cases have continued to rise since late June and, although with lower numbers than many European states, there are currently no signs of a slowdown.
Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.