England faces an emergency as COVID-19 infections spread, leading some to die by the end of April.
Molecular modelling research published this Saturday shows that if no new control measures are introduced then 75 000 people could become infected with Omicron variants in just two weeks.
In order to slow the spread of the Omicron virus in England, Boris Johnson’s government has already enacted new rules that encourage people to work from home if possible, to wear masks in public, and to use vaccine passports at entertainment venues.
The total number of new cases reported in Britain on Friday was 58,194, the highest daily number since January. It is estimated that as many as one million infections could occur by the end of the month due to the spreading of Omicron.
There are insufficient data to assess the severity of Omicron according to the UK Health Security Agency, even though no cases have yet resulted in hospitalization or death.
It is estimated that, under the most optimistic of projections, there would be more than 2,000 admissions each day and 24,700 deaths if the government does nothing. The report by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), however, has not been peer-reviewed.
Based on the most pessimistic estimates, hospital admissions would reach 492,000 and deaths would number 74,800 under the overly pessimistic estimates.
As a result of mild control measures such as working from home, “our most optimistic scenario could reduce the impact of Omicron as early as 2022,” said Rosanna Barnard, of the school’s Center for Mathematical Modeling of Infectious Diseases (C-MMID).
It is possible that more stringent restrictions may be required to provide sufficient protection to the NHS (National Health Service). Mask-wearing, social distancing, and booster jabs are essential, but may not be sufficient.
He is not planning to extend those “Plan B” measures beyond those currently in place, Johnson’s spokesman said Friday. Johnson is facing significant opposition from his own party over those restrictions.
Vaccine boosters are set to be accelerated, in hopes of dampening the need for new controls following the minor decline in protection due to the Omicron variant. Early data suggests booster doses will significantly restore protection.