Covid deaths could rise to 690 per day in next two weeks as infections soar 50 per cent in a week, Cambridge model claims
- The Medical Research Council presented Sage with the bleak forecast
- They estimate that 47,000 people in England are contracting Covid-19 ever day
- Ssubstantial proportion’ are asymptomatic, but warn of hundreds of deaths
Daily coronavirus deaths could reach up to 690 this month, scientists have warned as ONS data recorded a 50 per cent weekly rise in infections.
The Medical Research Council biostatistics unit at Cambridge University presented Sage with the bleak forecast as they published new predictions on how fast the virus is spreading.
They estimate that 47,000 people in England are contracting Covid-19 ever day, with cases doubling in under seven days.
While the ‘substantial proportion’ of cases are asymptomatic, their modelling suggests that hundreds will be dying every day within a fortnight.
The report published this week says: ‘We predict that the number of deaths each day is likely to be between 240 and 690 on October 26.’
Yesterday the Government announced there had been 15,650 lab-confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, but experts warn this is not an accurate indicator of the overall scale of the epidemic
Some 136 deaths were recorded yesterday, but scientists have warned this could rise to 690 by the end of the month
They said the daily number of infections was within the range of 28,900 to 74,900 per day, with the best estimate being 47,000.
They added the estimated growth rate for England is 0.09 per day, meaning ‘the number of infections grows by 9 per cent each day and it translates into a doubling in number in under one week.’
Daily cases in the North West (17,600) and North East and Yorkshire (10,000) are estimated to be particularly high, the MRC scientists said.
This is followed by London and the Midlands at 5,450 and 5,720 respectively.
The MRC feeds its forecast to Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides real-time information to the Government through Sage, and to regional Public Health England (PHE) teams.
Yesterday the Government announced there had been 15,650 lab-confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, but experts warn this is not an accurate indicator of the overall scale of the epidemic.
ONS data yesterday estimated that in the week ending October 8, 336,500 people in England had the virus – about one in every 160 people.
It is a 50 per cent jump from the previous week, when 224,400 people had the virus – about one in 240.
Meanwhile, Professor Graham Medley, an expert in infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a member of Sage, has said he believes that in terms of healthcare, ‘some areas are going to be back to the same kind of position they were at the end of March’.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We are struggling at the moment to understand how we’re balancing that imperative of having to prevent healthcare being completely overwhelmed and yet how to mitigate against the damage caused by the intervention, which of course is huge.’
Sir Patrick Vallance yesterday offered a glimmer of hope and said the UK’s coronavirus outbreak is not spiralling as fast as it did in the spring because social distancing and lockdown measures are working to keep cases on a leash.
But the Government’s chief scientific adviser warned that the epidemic is ‘growing everywhere’ and that more action must be taken to bring down the R rate, which is somewhere between 1.3 and 1.5 for the UK meaning cases will continue to surge exponentially.
An official report from SAGE revealed that the R rate in England has actually dropped for two weeks in a row already, falling from an estimated range of 1.2 to 1.6 on October 2 to 1.2 to 1.4 today.