- Doctors request that the Johnson's "Plan B " to be implemented now
- Hospitalizations are already high, but vaccines help
- Wave of flu could increase winter pressures
- In Scotland, infections slow after the peak of the new school year
LONDON, September 15 (Hfrance.fr) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to get through the winter without more coronavirus lockdowns, but doctors and scientists warn that relying heavily on vaccines without further measures could put unsustainable pressure on hospitals.
Britain has recorded one of the highest COVID death rates in the world for its population andone of the deepest recessions in rich countries following the pandemic, but also has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
Building on this latest success, the plan Johnson announced on Tuesday involves booster vaccinations, injections for children and the continuation of a much-criticized testing, tracing and isolation system for avoid blockages during the harsh winter months. learn more
Measures such as the compulsory wearing of the mask, the obligation to be vaccinated to attend mass events and a new order of work at home will only be taken if data suggests the National Health Service (NHS) may become overwhelmed, officials said.
But many doctors are already feeling overloadeds, and their representatives say that if minor COVID restrictions are not put in place now, more stringent restrictions may be needed later, noting that lockdowns that were delayed last year have had to be extended.
"Our hospitals and general practitioner practices are already overloaded ", Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chairman of the Board of British Medical, told Hfrance.fr Association (BMA). "With high infection rates, we need additional infection control measures if we are to keep the health service afloat this winter.
Asked why the government isn't toughening the rules now, Health Minister Sajid Javid told Sky News that vaccination, including boosters and for children, is the first line of defense.
"There is no risk-free decision but jI think what we "I announced that this plan was well thought out, " he said.
There is one year, Johnson was also determined to resist another lockdown, but the spread of the virus and high levels of hospitalization forced him to lock up England a second - and then a third - for extended periods.
Britain now averages over 30,000 new COVID-19 infections per day, behind only the United States, fueled by the variant Highly transmissible delta which has kept stubbornly high cases over the summer.
Johnson stressed that vaccines had severed the link between cases and deaths, and that without them he could not have reopened England's economy in July. His government establishes health rules in England, while other countries establish their own policies.ques.
But while 81.3% of people over 16 have received two doses of the vaccine, there are currently 8,340 COVID- patients. 19 hospitalized in Britain, up from just 1,066 a year ago.
Government science advisers say hospitalizations could rise further if the population starts to blend in more, with one of their published scenarios showing over 6,000 hospital admissions per day as of mid-October.
" The sooner interventions are introduced, the lower prevalence is maintained, reducing the direct burden of COVID-19 and reducing the risk of needing more stringent measures to rapidly reduce transmission "said advisers.
Some business leaders and politicians in Johnson 's Conservative Party strongly opposed any restriction, claiming that the damage they cause to the economy far outweighs the benefits. The government has said it will introduce additional measures as soon as they are needed.
Graham Medley, who chairs the modelers group, said people haven't mixed up as much as expected since reopening in July. Describing the current workload as an "exit wave ", he said the outlook was better than at the start of the year.
" It just doesn't hit the kind of peaks suggested by any of the models, "Medley told reporters, adding that if people got less cautious in the coming months " then we might as well see transmission rates dramatically increase ".
Medical advisers and government doctorsent warned of a difficult situation within months for a health and care sector strained by the 18-month pandemic, in part due to an expected increase in other seasonal illnesses like the flu that lockdowns got under control last year.
One of those worried about a particularly bad flu season is Katharina Hauck , a health economist who is Deputy Director of the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London.
Both France and Italy have COVID immunity passes that are required to enter certain locations, while both countries, as well as Germany, have some form of mask warrant. learn more
Hauck told Hfrance.fr that such measures wereis "obvious " as people spend more time indoors before winter.
In Scotland, the cases are very increased when schools returned in August - a few weeks earlier than in England - but have now started to fall. Rowland Kao, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, said it could be a good sign for the rest of Britain.
"We are essentially at a critical point, certainly in Scotland, where this proportion of people protected by the immune system is starting to have a big influence on transmission ", he told Hfrance.fr.
In Scotland, however, face masks are mandatory on public transport, shops, restaurants and other public buildings and the decentralized government will require vaccine passports for the entry into nightclubs and autres large social gatherings from October.
"Government policies are slightly different in Scotland compared to England, and there are evidence that face mask wearing levels are slightly different, "Kao said. "It may have an effect. Reporting by Alistair Smout; edited by Philippa Fletcher
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