120,000 may die during winter corona in Britain
- Skin rash considered new key symptom of pandemic
- Face covering mandatory in UK shops from July 24
LONDON: The second wave of deadly coronavirus in winter is likely to be more scary and horrific as experts have told the government what steps it should take to avoid the grim possibility of 120,000 deaths in a coronavirus resurgence this winter.
Four policies have been set out by the Academy of Medical Sciences, which said the six-figure death toll could be reached over nine months in a worst case scenario if a second wave of hospital admissions takes place.
The report says a second wave could be worse than the initial outbreak seen in spring, and highlights challenges including a winter flu outbreak, disruption to hospitals and care systems and a backlog of non-COVID health cases.
More than 44,000 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19 in the UK, with 291,000 infections recorded since the outbreak began.
The report outlines four key tasks to reduce coronavirus’ impact later in the year, and says there is a “need for urgent preparation to mitigate the risks of a particularly challenging winter”.
The report states measures being emphasised now, such as physical distancing, wearing face coverings, regular hand washing and participating in the government’s test and trace system must all continue.
Identifying people who are struggling to stick to the government’s coronavirus measures will require engagement and consideration should be given to using incentives, including financial ones, the report adds.
It says a focus on communities and people who are more vulnerable to the coronavirus will be key, especially those in poor quality housing and overcrowded homes.
The report says that “more time spent indoors will favour the spread” of the coronavirus. A public information campaign should be launched in autumn about how to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and providing guidance on how to keep indoors safer should be issued.
A rash could be another symptom of coronavirus, and scientists are advising people to self-isolate and get tested if they notice a new rash. Researchers say that characteristic skin rashes and “Covid fingers and toes” can occur in the absence of any other symptoms and therefore should be considered when diagnosing Covid-19.
A persistent cough, fever and a loss of smell or taste are listed by the NHS as the main symptoms of the virus.
Using data from the Covid Symptom Study app from about 336,000 regular UK users, King’s College London researchers found that 8.8% of people testing positive for the disease had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms.
This was compared with 5.4% of people with a negative test result.
Similar results were seen in a further 8.2% of users with a rash who did not have a coronavirus test, but still reported classic Covid-19 symptoms, such as cough, fever or anosmia.
Face masks will become mandatory in shops across England from July 24, the government announced on Monday.
On June 15, the UK government made wearing face masks on public transport mandatory, Sputnik reported
“There is growing evidence that wearing a face-covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus. The prime minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24,” a Downing Street’s spokesman told reporters.
The measures will be enforced by the police on the territory of England, with anyone ignoring them at risk of a fine of up to 100 pounds ($125). To date, UK health authorities reported over 2,90,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, including almost 45,000 related deaths.