UK: New COVID Wave Has Begun and We Should Wear Masks Again, Warn Scientists

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Experts have warned it is “reasonably certain” the UK is in another wave of Covid-19 – and suggested people should wear face masks again.

Key Points:

  • Experts have issued warnings that the UK is experiencing another wave of Covid-19.
  • Hospital admissions for Covid-19 have been increasing recently, coinciding with the diminishing effectiveness of vaccines and the emergence of a new variant.
  • Christina Pagel, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), emphasized the need to enhance surveillance and prepare for the potential impact of the new wave.
  • There is concern about potential strain on the health service due to the new wave, potentially resembling the crisis experienced during the previous winter.
  • The increase in hospitalizations is concerning, given the existing strain on healthcare services and the persistent issue of long Covid affecting individuals’ lives and work.
  • The emergence of a new variant called Eris, a descendant of Omicron, has been observed, with its prevalence ranging between 10% and 16.74% of cases in the UK.
  • The absence of mitigations and lower surveillance could allow a new variant to spread widely before its impact is recognized.
  • The article mentions a new unnamed variant with multiple mutations detected in Israel and Denmark, raising concerns about its potential impact.
  • The vulnerability of certain age groups due to lack of vaccination for extended periods is noted, potentially contributing to the severity of the ongoing wave.
  • Suggestions are being made to reinstate face mask usage in high-risk situations to mitigate the spread of the virus.
  •  The increase in cases might be driven by factors such as return to school and work, as well as spending more time indoors where the virus spreads more easily.
  • Data on Covid-19 prevalence has become limited due to the end of monitoring methods like wastewater monitoring, surveys, and reduced testing in hospitals.
  • Despite the absence of evidence suggesting that the new variant is more dangerous, concerns remain due to the lack of mitigations and surveillance.
  • The increase in hospital admissions over recent weeks indicates a resurgence in cases after a period of relatively lower numbers.
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