Why the pandemic is increasing in the United Kingdom

Conservative MPs in the UK are still unwilling to wear masks. On Thursday 21 October Labor MP Thangam Debonair asked his Conservative counterparts to hand it over to set an example. The request was turned down by House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, who jokingly replied that Tories lawmakers did not need it because they ” get to know each other “.

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The MP’s words did not evoke laughter neither in the Lower House, nor elsewhere across the channel. In Glasgow (Scotland) on Sunday 31 October, days before the opening of COP26, the United Kingdom is facing a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. More than 50,000 new Thursdays were recorded in the country for the first time since mid-July, according to government data. On Saturday 23 October, about 45,000 positive tests were added to it.

worrying statistics

This level of contamination, comparable to last winter’s deadly wave, worries the country, which has killed nearly 140,000 people since the start of the pandemic. These figures sound like a call to order, as the British have dropped almost all restrictive measures from July 19, dubbed “Independence Day” and celebrated without masks or health passes.

“The seasonal factor plays an important role”, argues epidemiologist Yves Kopieters at the Open University of Brussels. Activities take place indoors and pollution is on the rise. “ Other reasons are more specific to the British case. The effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is widely used across the channel, declines more rapidly than that of messenger RNA sera. It is also less effective against the delta version. “We started immunizations earlier than everyone else, more than six months ago”, explains virologist Julian Tang at the University of Leicester. It is understandable to see a drop in immunity. “

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abandon barrier gestures

Another explanation is to be found in favor of the youngest. Children aged 10–19 have the highest number of cases: the incidence rate reached 1,366 cases per 100,000 persons, a record. While the vaccination of more than 12 began in mid-June in France, little Britons had to wait until September 20 to receive their first dose. Finally, gestures of obstruction have been almost entirely abandoned, as evidenced by the attitude of Conservative MPs.

“The increase in the number of cases should be kept in perspective, Yves annoys the copiers. We should especially focus on the number of hospitals. “ The rates are around 2%, which is a far cry from the 9% in January, but they are also starting to rise again: +15.4% from last week. And this is what worries Julian Tang: “At the hospital, we know that if there is no change in strategy, we will be out of bed later this winter because it is high pressure season. “ And to add: “At the cinema or in the supermarket, very few people wear masks. However, it is an effective, low-cost and low-cost way to fight the spread of the virus. “

new sub-version

Boris Johnson’s government prefers to stick to vaccination, its “First Line of Defense”In the words of Health Minister Sajid Javid. Even though he admitted to deputies on Wednesday, 20 October that the contamination “Can reach 100,000 per day”, Sajid Javid has for the time being rejected the resumption of more restrictive measures demanded by health professionals and part of the political class.

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→ analysis. Barrier gestures: “immune debt” worries doctors

Another source of concern: the presence of the Delta sub-variant, AY42. keep a watch, “It represents only 6% of total cases at the moment, but may be 10 to 15% more contagious”, emphasizes Julian Tang. This is enough to put further pressure on the British authorities and on hospitals.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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