As the COVID-19 pandemic gears up for winter, hospitals in the UK have seen a spike in cases and COVID-related deaths in recent weeks. Tweets from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show how the spike compares to historic outbreaks and indicate that cases are climbing sharply as colder weather settles in the region.
With the weekly number of COVID-related deaths up by 39 percent, Britain saw its highest number of COVID-19 deaths since August 2022. There were 400 deaths registered in the seven days, up from 287 the week before, with 63.5 percent of those with COVID-19 included on the death certificate, representing a total of 254 lives lost.
While the numbers remain low compared to rates in 2021, which saw deaths related to COVID-19 stretch into the thousands, infectious diseases experts are wary of the effect the circulating BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants could have on the country’s healthcare system over the coming months. Winter in the UK is associated with an increase in illnesses such as influenza and the common cold, which combined with circulating COVID could make for a difficult season ahead.
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[H/T: Sky News]