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Scientist says Covid cases to peak again this month – and Christmas period shouldn’t be responsible | Science | News


Coronavirus cases are set to see one other peak in January, epidemiological modelling has indicated. Neuroscientist and epidemiological modelling expert Professor Karl Friston of University College London told Express.co.uk that the height will likely be “very substantial” — although not as high because the previous peak seen back in March 2022. Presently, he explained, estimates of prevalence were about 7.6 percent, while the impeding peak is predicted to be more within the order of 5 percent.

The height, the experts explain, is ready to be triggered partially by extra contacts around Christmas — not necessarily on the vacation itself, when people are likely to spend their time essentially isolated in family bubbles, but within the run as much as the vacation.

The form of activities that help the virus spread, Prof. Friston notes, is being in crowded environments — “being at Christmas parties, office parties, shopping.” Thus, he added, the week before Christmas is when the speed of increase of the prevalence of the virus is at its biggest.

He said: “So, the results of our pre-Christmas activities will emerge two or three weeks later, when it comes to the height within the prevalence, then [about two weeks later] there may be one other peak when it comes to clinical consequences.”

He said: “I believe the concerns about the results of becoming infected are much lower than they were last yr or the yr before, for various reasons. Obviously, your risk of developing a serious illness and fatality is substantially reduced by natural immunity and — probably more importantly — having been vaccinated.

“And that’s coupled with the proven fact that the present cocktail of variants in circulation is less pathogenic and fewer prone to cause illness.”

For the young, Prof. Friston noted flu is more prone to result in serious illness and death than COVID-19 is — although, he warns, the identical shouldn’t be true for those aged 70 and over.

He concluded: “So, I believe the emphasis here is on protecting the vulnerable and the elderly from exposure, particularly in the event that they haven’t been recently vaccinated.”

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Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that Covid-19 is reaching the tip of its most dangerous phase, and that it hopes that in some unspecified time in the future next yr the virus will not represent a public health emergency.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the weekly global death toll from Covid is now around a fifth of what it was last yr.

Nonetheless, he added: “Last week, lower than 10,000 people lost their lives. That’s still 10,000 too many and there remains to be quite a bit that every one countries can do to save lots of lives.

“But we’ve come a great distance. We’re hopeful that in some unspecified time in the future next yr, we’ll have the option to say that COVID-19 is not any longer a worldwide health emergency.”

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Based on Dr Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s emergency committee will likely be meeting later this month to debate what the tip of Covid’s emergency phase might appear like.

He added: “This virus is not going to go away. It’s here to remain and all countries might want to learn to administer it alongside other respiratory illnesses.

“We still face many uncertainties and challenges in 2023. Just one in five people in low-income countries has been vaccinated.

“Access to diagnostics and life-saving treatments for COVID-19 stays unacceptably unaffordable and unequal. The burden of post-COVID-19 condition [long Covid] is just prone to increase and enormous gaps in surveillance remain.”

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