Several coronavirus restrictions could be reintroduced in England after three weeks if hospital admission rises above expected levels, scientists advising the government on the pandemic have reportedly warned. Members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned the government to be prepared to reimpose restrictions amid record hospitalisations in nearly five months, reported inews.
According to NHS England, 752 hospital admissions were reported on July 19, the day virtually all restrictions were removed in Britain. While hospitalisations are still well below the peak of the second Covid wave, the exponential rise in infections largely driven by the highly contagious Delta variant is pushing the admissions towards worrying levels.
The UK reported 44,104 new Covid-19 cases and 73 related deaths on Wednesday, taking the total infections over 5.56 million. Earlier this week, chief medical officer Chris Whitty said the hospitalisations were doubling roughly every three weeks. During a webinar hosted by the Science Museum, Whitty said that the country was not “out of the woods” by any means and the hospitalisations could escalate in the next couple of months.
“It doesn’t take many doublings until we’re in actually quite scary numbers again … I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast,” Whitty said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government removed coronavirus restrictions even as experts and scientists from around the world kept warning against the move. They said that Britain’s plan to kick off the final phase of the four-step roadmap out of the lockdown amid the third Covid wave could be a threat to the world.
The Delta variant now accounts for more than 75% of Covid-19 cases in several countries including India, Australia, Britain, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Russia, and China among others, according to a weekly epidemiological update by the World Health Organization (WHO).