Masks are back in hospitals as cases rise in UK and US, vaccinations accelerate

People in Western countries are beginning to prepare for another wave of Covid-19 as cases begin to rise

Masks are back in hospitals as cases rise in UK and US, vaccinations accelerate

On June 26, around one in every 25,000 Britons had tested positive for Covid-19. Photo: iStock

The possibility of another wave of Covid-19 infections is rising in the United States and Britain, as massive surges in cases are being reported.

In the UK, vulnerable sections of the population have been asked to start using face masks and vaccinations have been accelerated.

Across the Atlantic in the United States, the rise in cases is being closely monitored as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) monitors a new Covid-19 variant named LB.1. It is important to note that the viral outbreak has gone unnoticed for the past two years.

Will there be a Covid wave in the summer?

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), on 26 June, around one in every 25,000 British citizens had been infected with Covid-19. a news report BBC, The increase in infections is statistically much lower than in March 2020, when the pandemic was first reported in the UK.

“This number may seem high, but it is small compared to what we saw at the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, it was one in 13,” the report said.

Over the past two years, experts studying mutations in the Covid-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus have recorded a set of new strains, which they collectively name 'FLiRT'. FLiRT variants refer to a group of variants – including those beginning with the letters 'KP' or 'JN' – that have acquired the same set of mutations.

These FLiRT strains are actually sub-variants of the Omicron variant. These account for more than 60 percent of Covid cases in the US. In March, the number of these variants was equal to only five percent of the US population.

Talking about the severity of the outbreak, British epidemiologist Paul Hunter told the BBC that he does not think the current COVID-19 infection rate is worrying.

“I think this year we're probably seeing the same number of infections as we were seeing last year — a little less, but not by a lot less,” the expert said.

He believes that, in general, we are seeing far fewer deaths from Covid and far fewer hospitalizations than we saw last year.

Making Preparations

In the UK, people with weakened immune systems or aged 75 or older have been asked to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the virus.

In addition, masks are becoming mandatory in healthcare settings in the US and UK, and some hospitals are preparing to return to safety measures adopted during two years of the pandemic.

What is worrying health experts in the US is the simultaneous rise in Covid-19 infections and bird flu.

According to American journalist Amy Maxman, the bird flu situation in the US is far from ideal.

“It's been nearly three months since the US government announced an outbreak of the bird flu virus on dairy farms. The World Health Organization considers this virus a public health concern because it has the potential to cause a pandemic, yet the US has only tested 45 people across the country,” he said. wrote In an opinion article.

The same article quoted Jennifer Nuzzo, director of the Epidemiology Center at the Brown University School of Public Health:

“We are flying in the dark… With so little testing being done, it’s impossible to know how many farm workers have been infected, or how severe the disease is,” he said. The lack of testing means the country won’t know if the virus begins to spread among people — opening the door to another pandemic.

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