SAGE scientist admits UK Covid cases could already be at 500k a day

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a leading statistician, said the daily Covid-19 cases in the UK could be closer to 500,000 than the rate currently reported.

The advisor to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) told BBC Radio 4’s PM program: “The case data released today shows around 190,000 (new cases), but even that we should be cautious about because we are not. Reinfections don’t count … and tests are limited – people find it harder to find tests – usually the number of cases is about half the number of infections, so we could speak of half a million new infections a day.

“This is a huge unprecedented wave of infections and very daunting. It looks encouraging that the cases in London look like they have peaked. “

Another 189,846 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases were registered in the UK at 9 a.m. on Friday, the government said, another new record for daily reported cases.

The government said that another 203 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

Separate figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK has now recorded 174,000 deaths with Covid-19 mentioned on death certificates.

Spiegelhalter added that while hospital admissions were around a third the same time last year, they “will increase rapidly and will continue to do so as older cases now increase”.

Sir David, who noted that in the absence of an increase in hospital ventilator use and the number of deaths per day at around 100, Omicron had “remained fairly stable” to provoke a milder illness, continued, “The death toll is not rising yet .

“It looks like we are going to have a huge wave of cases and of course that will lead to major disruptions in hospitals and other services, but we can be quite optimistic about the very serious results. It will get worse, but nothing like the previous waves. “

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