SAGE scientist says UK can expect ‘tens of thousands’ of deaths in the second wave

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The UK can expect tens of thousands of deaths from the second wave of coronavirus in what is a “bleak” situation, a government scientist has said.


Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told MPs that immediate action was needed – and not just regionally – to stem the rising tide of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.

Asked for his view on current government measures and what the trajectory looked like in terms of the number of cases, deaths and pressure on the NHS, Prof Edmunds replied “quite gloomy”.

He added:

We’re already in Liverpool… elective operations are already being cancelled, so we’re already at the stage where that’s under strain.

Elsewhere in the North West in particular but also in the North and Yorkshire, it’s not very far behind.

Read on...

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So we are already at the point or getting close to the point where the health service in much of the North will be under strain in the next few weeks.

And… even if we stopped things now, cases and hospitalisations would continue to go up.

I think if you look at where we are, there’s no way we come out of this wave now without counting our deaths in the tens of thousands.


Asked about when the peak of the second wave might be, he said there would be peaks in the North West probably in the next four to six weeks unless additional measures were brought in. He told the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees:

Then the rest of the country are weeks behind.

We’ll see peaks around Christmas, in the new year of very severe numbers of cases throughout the UK.

It’s slower and lower in the sort of South West and South East but in the more kind of urban centres in the UK – and that’s the sort of thing we’re looking at – very large numbers of cases, hundreds of deaths a day occurring.

He said the UK as a whole probably would not reach the peak seen in March and April but some parts such as Liverpool were already there. He added:

So I think we are looking at quite a bleak situation unless we take action, and we have to take action.

I don’t think we should be taking action just specifically in the highest risk areas, but I think we need to take action everywhere else to stop them getting into that kind of rather perilous position

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)


Edmunds said his own group was looking at how interventions might work over the winter, but these had not been requested by the government and SAGE had not been asked to assess this work. Of SAGE, he said:

We haven’t specifically been asked to look at different policies quite honestly, so nobody’s asking us to say ‘well what should we do here?’

So these are things that we’ve really taken on ourselves and decided to look at ourselves.

Earlier, Prof Edmunds said government behaviour was difficult to predict. He told MPs:

The most difficult thing is to predict people’s behaviour and I actually think the most difficult thing to predict is Government behaviour.

Most of the time people’s behaviour is governed by the Government, so saying you can or cannot do that, this or that is the biggest determinant of individuals’ behaviour.

At the moment it’s difficult to say what Government will do.

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  • Show Comments
    1. So, the answer to the ultimate question turned out to be 42. That’s 42 years of the degradation of our NHS by the tories and New Labour. A process that has seen the available beds in British hospitals reduced by around 75%, and an increase in non-medical staffing levels (admin) compared to actively useful staff. If, for the sake of argument, the ‘second wave’ lasts three months then the ‘normal’ death rate would yield approximately, 150,000 deaths. That is already ‘…tens of thousands…’. I suppose then the question becomes is the death rate as it creeps up a consequence of those cuts? Or, will diagnoses reflect the current fashion of this ‘pandemic’ in the way that aged and vulnerable people seem to achieve a ‘Covid death’ because they died in 2020 while simultaneously experiencing a variety of other health threatening symptoms? How do we square the State’s claim of protecting ‘the people’, with the seemingly endless circle of ongoing cuts to the people’s health and welfare services under the guise of privatisation?

    2. Just about right above written but their aktion T4 has perhaps beating this virus but hayho virus will now cull the stock helping Tories even further along in the stocks deaths we sleeper walked has from Thatcher days blairite days to now helped to rob the peasants of their wealth hospitals and the great welfare system gone but now we pay the price while like Nero our MPs play their fiddles while we die aktion T4 rolling along with out much of a ado

    3. Neglect. We knew it was coming after SARS. Simple neglect and arrogance. We had 17 years to get prepared. We did the opposite. We should have had enough equipment to test the entire population in short order. That should have been done in January. Everyone positive and their contacts should have gone into quarantine. Travel to and from the UK should have been tightly controlled. Neglect and arrogance. We have done very, very badly and many countries have done much better. The blame lies entirely with government.

    4. ‘The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 9 October 2020 (Week 41) was 11,359, which was 197 deaths higher than the five-year average and 85 deaths fewer than Week 40; of the deaths registered in the UK in Week 41, 474 deaths involved COVID-19, 131 deaths higher than Week 40.’ (ONS Website: ‘Deaths Registered Weekly’- 22/10/20). 474 deaths from Covid in the whole of UK in a week! Following a week where 344 deaths defined as ‘Covid deaths’ occurred in the UK! Whatever led upto this situation, whether it was conspiracy or cock-up, the consequences will be interesting. I define my self as a heretic, however I also consider ‘the situation’ we find ourselves in as ‘Biblical’. I also find comfort in the statement: ‘Relax, nothing is under control’. Local Lockdowns provide opportunities for people to see through National illusions (rhetoric), which is a political education of a sort.

    5. It’s easy to see nothing will be done differently as the deaths increase. Why its like War without the glory pursued by the ruling class for the good of the nation.
      “Relax nothing is under control” is a good outlook. Creates an open mind about the nature of your fate.

    6. Tens of thousands of deaths from a ‘second wave’??? How’s that going to happen? While positive tests (i.e.; ‘cases’; but not really since a positive PCR test has a very significant ‘false positive’ rate) skyrocket as testing proceeds, deaths in the U.K. (as shown on the ‘Deaths in U.K. website – are in the 10’s… not even the 100’s. And, what’s the spike in positive tests’ if not the widely heralded & dreaded ‘Second Wave’.

      Suggest Brits tune into U.K. Column News (on YouTube) every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 1300 for a more rational view of the ‘crises’. Also suggest readers familiarize themselves with the World Economic Forum’s “4th Industrial Revolution” & “The Great Reset”.

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