Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO, Kalkine Group
The course of the Covid-19 pandemic has been quite unpredictable for many countries across the globe, as the ever-evolving nature of coronavirus has kept the healthcare authorities on their toes. As far as the size and scale of spread in the United Kingdom is concerned, the authorities have managed to reduce the daily rate of infection and the number of people seeking hospital admissions.
Improving Covid landscape
A considerable part of the support has been provided by the massive-scale vaccination program, which is about to complete its fifth month in the second week of May. According to the weekly Covid-19 and national influenza data published by the Public Health England (PHE), the rate of hospital admission has been continuously falling week after week.
In the 15th week, the PHE recorded a hospital admission rate of 1.52 per 100,000 individuals as against 1.88 per 100,000 people in the past seven-day period. The surveillance indicators of the PHE have conclusively suggested a drop in the Covid-19 activity at the national level with the case rates sliding down among all the age groups.
Notably, the healthcare body has informed that the number of people reporting acute respiratory infection incidents in England soared to 97 in the particular week as against a frequency of 92 individuals. Acute respiratory infection incidents signify the possible cases of suspected outbreaks.
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also confirmed that the percentage of individuals returning positive for the Covid-19 (SARS CoV-2) continued to drop in the reporting week. As per the estimates of ONS, about 90,000 individuals in England, within the community population, had Covid-19, translating to nearly 1 in every 610 people.
However, the death rate in England and Wales ticked up in the 15th week as both the countries reported a cumulative death toll of 10,438. There were 1,340 more deaths in the reporting week. Out of the 10,438 fatal cases registered in England and Wales, 362 deaths were attributed to Covid-19, accounting for 3.5 percent of all the deaths as against a Covid-19 death proportion of 4.2 percent in the previous week.
Stage 3 reopening ahead
The various indicators suggesting a dip in the fatal cases and hospital admissions related to coronavirus collectively develop a chance for the upcoming easements as planned in State 3 of reopening. A gradual improvement in the Covid-19 activity with a further decrease in the rate of infection, rate of hospitalization, and the number of fatal cases can surely provide a breather to the healthcare administration and the government as they plan to reopen.
Under Stage 3 of planned easements across the country, most of the mixing rules will be lifted from the outdoor, as well as indoor settings. Most importantly, the government will be allowing the pubs and restaurants, play centers, cinemas, hotels, and museums to reopen in the upcoming phase of easements. A large section of enterprises operating in the hospitality sector is bracing the government’s move to enable phased reopening.
The Downing Street administration has kept a close watch on the large-scale inoculation drive, while the Department of Health and Social Care has managed to meet the immunization targets as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Subsequent to a comprehensive review of Covid-19 activity, the government will be restarting the international holidays alongside bringing back the spectators to the sporting venues with certain restrictions. Indoor venues will return in a position to host up to 1,000 visitors or half of their total capacity, while the outdoor settings such as football stadiums, cricket venues will be allowed to have 4,000 people or half of their capacity. The upper ceiling on the visitors coming indoor, as well as outdoor settings, will remain capped to the lower reading, either the half capacity or the prescribed limit.