As UK nears zero Covid deaths, there’s good reason for optimism


Sumary of As UK nears zero Covid deaths, there’s good reason for optimism:

  • The handling of the coronavirus crisis in the UK has provided few moments to celebrate, but the day we reach zero deaths from the disease will clearly be one to toast..
  • In January alone, the UK reported nearly 32,000 Covid deaths, an appalling tally directly linked to locking down too late..
  • We may see more in May, though people will continue to die of Covid, and the numbers might well rise again when restrictions are lifted on indoor mixing..
  • More important is reaching consistently low daily death rates, a goal achieved through a combination of factors..
  • At the start of the year, the lockdown broke chains of transmission and reduced R – the number of people an infected person passes the disease on to, on average..
  • For example, when R reached 0.8, every 100 cases passed the virus on to only 80 more people, and so the numbers fell..
  • First and foremost, these early shots gave the most vulnerable, and so those most likely to die from Covid, the immune defences to fend off the virus..
  • Even if vaccinated people become infected, and some can, the amount of virus in the respiratory system is lower, so they are less likely to pass it on..
  • These included the clinically extremely vulnerable – people on drugs to suppress their immune systems, or those with underlying health conditions, for example – plus everyone aged 50 and over..
  • The ONS found that only a fraction of people in hospital with Covid were admitted more than three weeks after having the shot…

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