Saturday, January 02, 2021
British clinics overcrowded
Mutation increases infection rate “extremely”
In London, patients now have to be treated in hallways or wait for hours in an ambulance. These conditions could threaten the whole country. According to a study, the new, considerably more contagious variant of the coronavirus is to blame for the escalation.
The new, mutated variant of the coronavirus has dramatically exacerbated the crisis in Great Britain. According to a study by Imperial College, the new variant is significantly more contagious. As a result of their spread, the R-value in Great Britain has increased by a total of 0.4 to 0.7. It is currently around 1.1 to 1.3. The difference between the previously widespread and the new virus is “pretty extreme,” said Axel Gandy, professor at Imperial College, the BBC.
According to the study, the spread of the new type of virus tripled during the lockdown in England, while that of the old type decreased by a third. According to preliminary data, mainly young people under the age of 20 were infected with the new variant, but according to Gandy this could be at the time of the data collection. Because the investigation began at a time when schools were still open, but adults were affected by extensive corona restrictions.
On New Year’s Eve, new infections in Great Britain had reached a new high. For the fourth time in a row, the number of new cases is now more than 50,000 within 24 hours. The level of infections is particularly high in London and the south and east of England. For the most part, this is attributed to the spread of the new virus variant. “The majority of the cases found in London, the south-east and east of England are of the new variant,” said a government release. Tougher measures are needed to bring the virus under control. The schools in London will remain closed for the time being, even after the end of the Christmas holidays. Education Minister Gavin Williamson announced that it was the ultima ratio.
Hospitals in London are reportedly reaching their capacity limits. Patients are therefore accommodated in hallways or have to wait for hours in an ambulance until a bed is free. The president of the British Royal College of Physicians, Andrew Goddard, advised clinics across the country to prepare for similar conditions. “This new variant is definitely more contagious and is spreading across the country,” he told the BBC.
After all, the British Ministry of Health reported at the turn of the year that one million people in Great Britain had now been vaccinated against Corona. From next week on, in addition to the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer, the preparation developed by Oxford University and the British-Swedish company Astrazeneca will also be administered. It will take weeks and months for the proportion of those who have been vaccinated to actually ease the situation.