Emergency Modeling Specialist Thinks New Options Will Be Forgiving
The COVID-19 pandemic, which at first was not taken seriously by many – even at the level of state authorities, then became the main problem of the whole world, now seems to have tired scientists as well. Otherwise, it is impossible to explain the fact that relatively positive assessments of the situation are increasingly being heard, and some analysts from respectable structures even believe that it is worth putting an end to alarmist sentiments, since the coronavirus is destined not for a general catastrophe, but for a completely ordinary disease.
Emergency Modeling Specialist Dr Mike Tyldesley is part of the Pandemic Subgroup within the SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies – Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies; works closely with the British government. — “MK”) – spoke about his vision of the situation with the pandemic during the release of BBC Breakfast. His predictions, although they probably do not reflect the view of the whole group, are quite optimistic.
According to the analyst, by the end of the year in the UK, in particular, infection with coronavirus will be perceived as a familiar and not the most dangerous disease. The pandemic, the scientist believes, is now turning back after, in his opinion, a “super-soft wave” of the Omicron strain. The statement is more than bold, at least in its second part, given that, for example, the chief infectious disease specialist in the United States predicted that almost the entire population of the planet would be infected with the coronavirus in this version.
Dr. Tyldesley, in turn, notes that the current number of hospitalized people is still lower than in the first waves of the pandemic. As the expert believes, “Omicron” will soon be replaced by new, lighter “strains”, which will strengthen the immunity of the population of immunity in the UK and create an even greater gap between the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. According to the doctor, for greater efficiency, it is time for the government to start developing a plan for “life in the conditions” of COVID-19.
The optimistic comments came after a World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on January 17 that there was “light at the end of the tunnel” in the UK amid a sharp drop in the number of cases and a stabilization in the number of hospitalizations.
Under these conditions, the authorities of the United Kingdom are preparing to cancel a number of emergency measures by January 26. Among the restrictions that could be lifted is not only mandatory work from home for the British, but also the abolition of mandatory tests for vaccinated visitors. This, according to the government, can give a new impetus to the sagging tourism sector. At the same time, the obligation to use personal hygiene products such as masks / respirators and gloves in public places and in transport is likely to be maintained until the end of this year.
Already on January 17, the self-isolation period for COVID-positive people who did not need hospitalization was reduced. If the test on the fifth day turns out to be negative, then you can freely (subject to mask precautions, of course) leave your home.
“Hopefully, our relationship with COVID will be more like the perception of the flu,” said Dr. Tyldesley in this regard. – When we protect the vulnerable, when cold weather sets in, but we do not see the return of restrictions. <...> We are not there yet, but hopefully at some point this year we will be [в такой ситуации] — and we need to talk not only about cases of infection, but also about hospitalizations and the number of people who die from this disease. If we keep these numbers to a minimum, we hope that the restrictions will be lifted and we will be able to live next to the virus.”
Initially, Omicron caused a panic because it spread much faster than its predecessors. But studies show that the course of the disease when infected with this strain is more benign, and this trend will continue with further mutations.
The number of cases of coronavirus infection in the UK on the eve of statements by WHO and SAGE representatives decreased for 11 days in a row, statistics for January 17 will be released later. So the statements from the United Kingdom are understandable. And in the United States, the growth in the number of cases, although it did not break the record of last week – more than 1.4 million people – is still impressive. So the forecasts of British analysts, even if they are real, may not come true everywhere.