COVID hospital admissions are projected to decrease across the UK in the coming weeks – other than Scotland, where they look set to rise to more than 200 a day, according to the latest government models.
Data released by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M-O) looks at what could happen in all UK nations and regions up to early October.
Using the midpoint of the projections as a comparison, figures show hospitalisations are expected to decrease in England, and all English regions, as well as in Wales and Northern Ireland between now and 3 October.
However, in Scotland, admissions could continue to rise to more than 200 a day.
The number of deaths per day is likely to decrease in the same period in England and Northern Ireland, but the models for Scotland and Wales show numbers levelling off without any significant drop in daily deaths.
However, these are not forecasts or predictions, but represent a scenario in which the trajectory of the epidemic continues to follow the trends seen in the data up to 13 September.
However, the projections do take into account the impact of schools reopening.
The data is a culmination of a number of models, including from Public Health England, a number of universities and Public Health Scotland, and each model uses various assumptions around vaccine effectiveness and uptake.
On Friday, the UK reported a further 35,623 COVID-19 cases and 180 virus-related deaths, with 7,124 people currently in hospital with the disease.
It comes as England’s R number has fallen slightly, with figures showing the growth rate in the country is now between -3% and -1% a day – meaning that the number of new infections is shrinking by between 1% and 3% each day.
Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of people in private households with COVID-19 has fallen for the third week in a row.
Around one in 90 people had coronavirus in the week up to 18 September, down from one in 80 the previous week.
At the peak of the second wave in January, around one in 50 people in England were estimated to have the virus.
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In Wales, around one in 60 people are estimated to have had COVID in the week to 18 September – remaining unchanged from the previous week and the highest level since the week to 23 December last year.
The figure is also one in 60 for Northern Ireland, up from one in 75 the previous week, while it is one in 45 in Scotland – the highest level since estimates began in October 2020.
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