Winter Wave of Coronavirus Could be Even More Deadly

According to scientists in the UK, it is speculated that up to or over 120,000 new potential coronavirus mortalities can occur in the upcoming second wave of infections this winter. To give an idea of the possible worst-case scenario, they presumed the ‘model of a reasonable worst-case scenario: suggested range between 24,500 and 251,000 of virus-related deaths in hospitals alone, peaking in January and February’. In the UK, uptill now, the estimated official mortalities were 44,830, but this has slowed down with 1,100 in July. Yet, this estimation does not take into account any lockdowns, treatments or vaccines.

The researchers say that the potential risk can be minimized should we take the necessary precautions.  The UK’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, requested for a report,  it emphasizes a high degree of uncertainty over how the coronavirus pandemic will play out this winter. But research raise an alarming concern that the virus can survive longer in colder conditions and is more likely to spread even when people spend more time indoors. Moreover, experts from the NHS are worried that ‘the NHS will be under extreme pressure, not just from a resurgence of coronavirus but also from seasonal flu and a backlog of regular, non-coronavirus workload’.

The health facilities are already under pressure and the workflow is significantly disturbed in the aftermath of the first pandemic wave, with a waiting list that could stand at 10 million by the end of this year, the report says.

Source: BBC

A specialist in respiratory, Prof Stephen Holgate, at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust, who led the report, said: “This is not a prediction – but it is a possibility. The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter. But the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately. With relatively low numbers of coronavirus cases at the moment, this is a critical window of opportunity to help us prepare for the worst that winter can throw at us.”

It is feared that the upcoming gloomy winter worst-case scenarios can happen with coronavirus mortalities in the thousands. The report is giving revelation that there is a high degree of uncertainty in the projected death figures. It is not a forecast of what is presumed what will happen, rather what might. Further, researchers can hypothesize the likely and unlikely situations, but the simulations highly rely on assumptions that do not always play out in real life. Yet, what we learn from the experiences, so far, it is presumed that there are certain things which we can have control, including physical distancing and getting tested if we develop symptoms.

The co-author of the report, Prof Dame Anne Johnson, from the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Faced with these potential challenges, and after an already tough year, it would be easy to feel hopeless and powerless. But this report shows that we can act now to change things for the better.”

These circumstances clearly implicate the potential capacity of “the test-and-trace programmes” to fight with the overlapping symptoms of coronavirus as the cases of flu along with other winter infections may surge in coming winter.

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