UK – The end of Britain’s COVID pandemic could be just months away as vaccines have so dramatically reduced the risk of hospitalization and death.
This is according to Neil Ferguson an epidemiologist who believes that the country is headed in the right direction though not completely out of the woods.
British COVID data shows that a recent spike of infections earlier in July has so far not led to a vast increase in deaths, which fell to just 14 on Monday, though the number of COVID patients in British hospitals has risen to 5,238.
The prime minister’s decision to lift regulations in England on July 19 in favor of restarting an economy damaged by a series of on-off lockdowns since March 2020.
Boris Johnson is betting that he can get one of Europe’s largest economies firing again because so many people are now vaccinated, a decision which marks a new chapter in the global response to the novel coronavirus.
If it pays off, Britain’s example could offer a way out of the pandemic, though Johnson’s gamble could be derailed by the possible emergence of a variant capable of resisting vaccines – or if ill people overwhelm the health service.
The British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, this is according to a leading economic focus.
Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941.
The optimism comes despite the chaos caused by widespread staff shortages as workers self-isolate en masse after being pinged by NHS test and trace.
Although the economy has proved increasingly resilient through lockdowns, the EY Item Club report came with the health warning that the “future pattern of the pandemic and any renewed pandemic-related restrictions will have a significant bearing on whether the forecast is achieved”.
The UK economy is more dependent on consumer spending on services, such as recreation and leisure activities, which meant that the lockdowns had a greater economic impact than in other countries.
In the spring, the group of economists, which is the only non-government forecasting organisation to use the Treasury’s modelling of the economy, pencilled in growth of 6.8%.
This is the second time this year it has upgraded its forecast, putting the economy on track to attain its pre-pandemic peak by the end of 2021.
That milestone would now be reached some six months sooner than when it last crunched the numbers in April, with the UK’s successful vaccine programme a key factor.
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