COVID-19: Third Wave Comes As Delta Variant Rises, But Scientists Are Unable To Make Firm Predictions

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COVID-19: Third Wave Comes As Delta Variant Rises, But Scientists Are Unable To Make Firm Predictions


If there was any doubt that we are heading into a third wave, Wednesday’s daily infection tally should go some way to dispel those uncertainties.

The upward trend has been exponential. Since May, the Delta variant has resulted in an increase COVID infections.

This is why the Prime Minister was forced to delay “Freedom Day”. The peak was expected to continue upward and it does.

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The question is, what does this mean in terms of hospital admissions and deaths. The short answer is that both will follow.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said this last week when he stood next to Boris Johnson at the Downing Street briefing.

There is usually a 10 day lag between infections and hospitalizations. We are already seeing an increase in hospital admissions in parts of the country.

But let’s keep this in some context. The numbers are unlikely to reach the levels of the first and second waves. We can thank the vaccination program for this.

The modeling presented to Boris Johnson predicted a push big enough to put pressure on the NHS, if it went ahead with its initial June 21 date to remove all restrictions.

But it must also be recognized that every hospital admission means an occupied bed and reduced capacity.

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Only very sick people need treatment in the hospital, even if they are not there for a long time.

For so long we have talked about this virus targeting the elderly and those with underlying health issues.

Wednesday’s 9,000 infections recalls that there are still some 10 million adults who have not received their first dose of vaccine.

A senior government scientist told me this week that “the virus has a way of finding unvaccinated adults and infecting them.”

She was one of the many scientists I spoke to and listened to this week.

They all talk about uncertainty, that not enough is known about the Delta variant to make definitive predictions.

We can’t say exactly what will happen in the coming weeks, they tell me.

But we have the vaccine on our side and that is a game changer.

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