The link between infections and hospitalisations or deaths has been broken in the current wave of cases, analysis of Government figures shows.
The Daily Mail has tracked the current third wave against last year’s second wave, starting at the same point in each cycle when daily infections were running at about 2,000.
As the first graphic above shows, in both waves the seven-day rolling average rises to around 18,000 after 60 days. But the figures are very different for daily hospital admissions.
Latest figures show they are at 263, compared to 1,095 at the same stage in the cycle last year.
1. Matching 2nd wave cases to 3rd wave, increase is identical
With just over 60 per cent of the UK’s adult population fully vaccinated, the impact of the Delta [Indian] variant is much reduced – even though it is much more transmissible than the Kent variant of the second wave.
Further proof that vaccinations have broken the link come in the figures for daily numbers in hospital. These have remained virtually flat in the current wave, in stark contrast to the sharp upward trajectory last year. At the same stage of last year’s wave, hospital admissions stood at more than 7000 – compared to 1720 in the latest figures.
But most dramatically of all, the analysis shows how Britain’s world-beating vaccination drive has demolished the link between infections and death.
The seven-day rolling average number of deaths in the UK is currently 17. At the same stage of the second wave last year, the figure was 122 – more than seven times higher.
2. …back then, hospital admissions soared – now they’re almost flat…
The analysis comes as experts say daily death statistics have become obsolete and serve only to scare the public. Scientists have suggested ministers should stop publishing the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test unless they provide corresponding figures for other diseases.
Professor Tim Spector, from King’s College London, said Covid figures were of little use without context.
The professor, who is behind the biggest Covid symptom tracker study, which uses the app Zoe, suggested that the figures could be published alongside statistics for other health conditions such as flu, heart disease and cancer, all of which are linked to thousands more deaths than Covid every month.
‘On their own, [Covid death statistics] are useless and scaremongering,’ he said.
‘They need to be put in context of the number of expected deaths on that day and things like the number of deaths from cancer or heart disease so people have some idea or proportion – because generally they are used to frighten people. People have forgotten how many admissions there were at the height of winter.’
3. …the story is the same for the number of patients in hospital…
The Department of Health is providing a daily update of infections, deaths, and hospitalisations. But given the success of the vaccine programme in breaking the link between cases and deaths, many think it is now time to stop as the statistics could be taking a mental toll on the public.
Professor Robert Dingwall, of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said recent figures appeared to show a ‘last wave of mild infections’ among young, unvaccinated people.
‘It is well past time to panic about infection rates and to publish them obsessively,’ he tweeted.
‘Even hospitalisation rates are increasingly misleading as better therapy reduces length of stay.
‘Covid is now a long way from being an important cause of mortality.’
4. …and even more crucially, it’s now so different for deaths too
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