40,000 cases a day: why the UK has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Europe
Covid-19 cases in the UK are higher now than this time last year when parts of England were under lockdown.
However, thanks to the vaccine there are fewer cases of serious diseases and fewer admissions to hospitals.
But rising infections remain a cause for concern.
As scientists warn, the more viruses circulate, the more likely it is to break vaccine defenses, infect vulnerable people and overload health services.
What do the figures show?
In recent days the number of people who tested positive for covid-19 in the United Kingdom increased to more than 40,000 cases per day.
Infection figures in the country are currently much higher than in other Western European countries.
Since the first covid case was registered in Europe in January 2020, the United Kingdom has confirmed 8,193,769 cases, the highest number in the entire region.
We explain what is driving the increase in cases in this country.
UK residents are more likely to say that they no longer wear a mask or cover their face compared to populations in Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
Covid cases are higher in the UK than in any of those countries, but we cannot necessarily say that one factor is the cause of the other.
Study after study has shown that face masks can help prevent the virus from spreading between people.
However, when it comes to measuring the number of masks that manage to reduce an outbreak, it’s much harder to pin down.
This is because it is difficult to distinguish between all the other things that occur at the same time, such as the number of people choosing to mingle with each other.
People in Sweden and the Netherlands, for example, are more likely than those in the UK to say they never used a mask, according to a survey by Imperial College London.
But these countries have fewer confirmed COVID-19 cases than the UK.
In the UK, Scottish regulations still recommend wearing a mask in most places indoors, while the English do not.
And according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics, people in Scotland are more inclined to say that they have covered their faces in the previous seven days.
Still, that nation has also seen a surge in hospital admissions in recent weeks.
More flexible rules, more socialization?
United Kingdom relaxed many restrictions before most of the rest of Western Europe.
The citizens of England, Wales and Scotland have been able to go to nightclubs and attend meetings with an unlimited number of people since the boreal summer, unlike many other countries.
Imperial College survey data suggests that people in the UK are somewhat more likely than some of their closest European neighbors to use public transport and less likely not to go out.
The latest survey of contacts and socialization in the United Kingdom found that there has been relatively little change in recent weeks, with contact rates among children similar to those at the beginning of the trimester.
There has been a gradual increase in the number of employees going to their workplace, although it is still quite low, with only about half of the employees at workplaces that are open.
The UK was ahead of the curve in launching the vaccine.
This has undoubtedly saved many lives by preventing severe cases of COVID-19, but this early progress could give a clue as to why the country is facing more cases now.
A study of the COVID test results of vaccinated people who recorded their symptoms in an app suggested that the vaccine’s protection against infection is significantly decreased after five to six months of inoculation.
In Israel, which originally led the world in terms of vaccinated population, scientists who analyzed the data said that an increase in cases was due to the reduction in protection provided by the vaccine.
And the cases stabilized once enough older people were given a booster dose.
What Israel shows us about how to get out of the covid
Now, in the United Kingdom, booster doses are being administered to the elderly: as of October 17 they had been administered 3.7 million doses In England.
Importantly, protection against severe disease appears to remain high six months after vaccination.
It is true that the more infections there are, the greater the risk that some people will become seriously ill, even when most have been vaccinated.
That’s probably why UK hospital admissions are higher now than they were in the early summer, when there were fewer cases.
But when we look at the overall figures, we see far fewer hospital admissions now than the last time when there were so many cases and most of the people weren’t vaccinated.
A stagnant vaccination program?
The UK’s rapid launch of its vaccination program it has stalled in recent months.
The rate of fully vaccinated people in that country is no longer on the list of the top 10 nations with a population of at least one million.
In the first two weeks of October, the proportion of the British public aged 12 and over who have received at least one dose of the vaccine barely moved.
A government spokesman said that “the vaccination program has significantly weakened the link between cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and will continue to be the first line of defense against COVID-19.”
“We encourage those who can receive a booster shot to come forward to ensure they have this vital added protection as we approach winter. [boreal]”.
Child vaccinations: how the UK compares
The UK vaccination rate is slightly skewed by low dose administration among children.
Vaccination for children between the ages of 12 and 15 in the country began on September 20.
So far 15% of 12-15 year olds in England have received a single dose.
In Israel, more than half of 12-15 year olds have had at least one dose.
Most other European countries are vaccinating those 12 and older, including France, which began rolling out it in June.
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