UK Covid infections are at record highs, but cases may have peaked | Coronavirus

The UK was last week presented with two different images of Covid-19’s spread across the country. Together, they suggest that infections have reached record levels since the pandemic began, but have also created hope that the current high wave of cases across the UK may have peaked.

The first study is based on a randomized study of households that showed that around 1.28 million people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were infected with Covid-19 in the week ending October 22, the highest number of infections , which has been registered since the pandemic began in the UK. Conducted by the Office for National Statistics, this weekly survey is rated as the most reliable measure of UK infection levels.

But another analysis – based on Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reports on new cases for the week ending October 29 – suggested that there had since been a 14% drop in case numbers. However, these reports are considered to be a less reliable measure of Covid-19’s case numbers, leaving some uncertainty about the disease’s progress in the UK.

Professor Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia said it was too early to say whether there was a real drop in infections, adding: “If infections really fall in line with the daily reports from DHSC, then we would see no one at the earliest. effect on the ONS dataset is Friday. “

This point was supported by Professor Jim Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Oxford, who said he expected the prevalence in England to have peaked or be close to the top, adding: “And if England has peaked, so will others. “Numbers are starting to fall. I certainly hope so – 1,000 people end up in hospital every day and 1,000 die a week.”

Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at Reading University, also warned that health care remained tense, saying: “If the situation were to worsen further, we risk creating pressure in health care, leading to reduced access to care for most. “Anyone who gets into a motorway accident or whose routine surgery has gotten worse can find themselves without access to the intensive care unit at their local hospital.”

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