UK government calculates second wave of pandemic is “going to be worse this time, more deaths”

Tuesday’s total of 367 more deaths lost in the UK to coronavirus was the highest daily total since May. On Wednesday, a further 310 were reported dead. The 24,701 new infections recorded yesterday were over 1,816 higher than Tuesday.

The grim figures came as the Office for National Statistics announced that 61,116 people have died in cases where COVID-19 was stated on the death certificate. The ONS figures are two weeks out of date, and the true figure will be even higher. Even so, the ONS calculation is much higher than the highly manipulated daily figure tally provided by Boris Johnson’s Conservative government--which totalled 45,675 yesterday.

The ONS figures are proof of the deadly outcome of the government’s homicidal reopening of the economy from June, along with schools, colleges, and universities. However, the ONS figures are still lower than excess death figures—generally considered to be the most reliable indicators internationally—with more than 60,000 excess deaths, compared to previous years, having already occurred by May 11.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds a news conference giving the government's response to the new COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, at Downing Street in London, Thursday March 12, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP) [AP Photo/Simon Dawson]

To meet the demands of the corporations for renewed profits, the government refuses to take the essential measures required to arrest the spread of the virus. It is proceeding with a series of ineffective Tier-based local lockdowns. Most of England is under the “High” Tier 2 but as infections mount, more than 8.7 million people will be under Tier 3 restrictions by the end of the week. This means people cannot mix with other households and pubs and bars are closed, but most workplaces remain open. Schools, that are among the main vectors for the spread of the virus in communities also remain open under Tier 3. The government’s own scientists are agreed that the Tier system cannot stop the spread of the virus.

The town of Warrington in Cheshire entered Tier 3 level Tuesday and the 828,200 population of Nottinghamshire will be under Tier 3 by Friday. A further five million people are set to be brought into Tier 3, with West Yorkshire’s population of over 2.3 million to be placed under it imminently.

The Scottish National Party government is playing the same role. Today it announces which parts of Scotland will be placed into five separate Tiers it has established. It is expected that main populated Central Belt, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, plus the City of Dundee, will be assigned only to level three to be in place next Monday.

These measures have been carried out weeks too late, with people dying preventable deaths.

On Tuesday, deaths in South Yorkshire, which includes Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley, passed 1,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. Five deaths occurred between the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General hospitals in Sheffield, four at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals trust, and three at Barnsley Hospital. South Yorkshire was only placed under in Tier 3 and a limited lockdown last Saturday.

These deaths are the outcome of a herd immunity policy as the government repeatedly and wilfully ignored warnings from their own scientists, placing the health and livelihoods of millions at risk. Last month, Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance warned that there could be 200 dead a day from COVID-19 by mid-November—a tally that has already been nearly doubled. Yesterday, Professor Wendy Barclay, a SAGE member from Imperial College London told Times Radio, “The total lockdown that we had back in late March was enough to turn the tide, and get the virus back under control. So far, none of the other restrictions that we’ve seen and none of the other actions, seem to have done that.”

This has prepared the way for even more deaths than in the spring. On Wednesday, the Daily Telegraph led with a headline, “Second wave forecast to be more deadly than first”. The article reported that “Downing Street is working privately on the assumption that the second wave of Covid-19 will be more deadly than the first, with the number of victims remaining high throughout the winter.”

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has projected that the “course of the second wave is understood to show deaths peaking at a lower level than in the spring, but then remaining at this level for weeks or even months.” It noted that “Health officials expect the death toll to reach 500 a day within weeks.” The newspaper quoted a “well-placed source” who said, “It’s going to be worse this time, more deaths… That is the projection that has been put in front of the Prime Minister and he is now being put under a lot of pressure to lock down again.”

There are already 10,000 people in hospitals in the UK receiving treatment for COVID-19. Asked yesterday on BBC Radio 4's Today, if there could be 25,000 people in hospitals by the end of November, SAGE member Professor Sir Mark Walport warned, “It's certainly not unrealistic to think about that." He added, “We are still relatively early in the second wave and, as we know, there's a significant lag—two to three, two to four weeks—between actually getting an infection and people potentially dying, and so the number of deaths is always lagging the number of cases that are reported at any one time, so there's little to feel reassured about.

Walport said, “There are still an awful lot of people out there who are vulnerable, it's not, as it were, that the disease has killed off everyone who is vulnerable, there are still very many people that are vulnerable and we know that only still a relatively small proportion of the population has had this infection.”

Dr Gabriel Scally of the University of Bristol, and a member of the Independent Sage group told Sky News he agreed with SAGE’s worst case scenario and that “if the government go on the way they are doing, then we are going to see a very large number of deaths and we are going to have the rockiest possible period. I think it is going to be dreadful.”

Government ministers and a pliant media are seeking to divert attention from the carnage they have wrought, and served as propagandists for, through a campaign aimed at “saving Christmas”. Labour Party Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said that because the government had not put in place the limited national “circuit breaker” Labour had belatedly called for, "I’m worried now that what we’ll see is deeper, more drastic lockdown action over November and December, which sadly probably does put Christmas at risk”.

Neither SAGE or its critics in Independent Sage advocate a national lockdown of the type the government was forced to implement in March. They call for a time-limited national “circuit breaker” of “at least two weeks” (Scally, Independent Sage) along the lines of the 17-day lockdown imposed in Wales last week, or the similar one in Ireland.

Infections in schools are rocketing. According to figures compiled by the Tory Fibs twitter page, more than 6,000 schools have reported one or multiple infections.

Figures released by the Department for Education revealed that nearly a fifth of children were off school in self-isolation on October 22. Last week alone almost 600,000 secondary school pupils were forced into self-isolation for Covid-related issues. Contrary to government lies, younger children are being massively affected. Along with the more than 55 percent of secondary schools with at least one child self-isolating at home, 20 percent of primary schools are in the same situation. Overall, between 16 and 18 percent of schools had to send 30 or more children home.