A WORCESTERSHIRE NHS body has said it is prepared should there be a future wave in Covid-19 cases, after a leaked NHS slide suggested a ‘summer surge’ in the county.
The Worcester News has been provided with a slide that appears to show an NHS projection that infections will begin to rise in early June, peaking at around 130 cases per 100,000 in July, before falling back to the current low numbers by October.
A spokesman from NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “Across the Herefordshire and Worcestershire health and care system, all partners undertake ongoing planning to ensure that services are prepared should there be a future wave in cases of Covid-19.
“Whilst the vaccination programme has been a huge success across the two counties, people are encouraged to take up the vaccine when offered, ensure that you receive the second dose when invited and adhere to government guidance to keep our infection rates low and help prevent or minimise any further surges in infection.”
Worcester MP Robin Walker said, although he could not comment specifically on a leak, there had always been projections from epidemiologists that cases would rise again.
“There were all predictions that at each stage of unlocking there would be an increase in infections,” the MP said.
“So far what we have seen is that hasn’t happened, largely because of the increase in vaccinations.
“There is reason to be optimistic that (a rise) may not happen.
“We will just have to wait and see what the roll out of the vaccine means (to the situation).”
The MP also added that with vaccines, any rise may not lead to a rise in the number of hospitalisations and deaths, as in previous waves.
“It is suggested transmission is also lower for people who have the vaccine, so even if someone is asymptomatic they are less likely to transmit it,” Mr Walker said.
“I think that is also welcome, and could hopefully impact the modelling for the rise in infections as well.”
The county modelling is a similar picture to what government scientists say could happen nationally, with a ‘summer surge’ as lockdown restrictions continue to be relaxed.
Professor Adam Finn, of the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, recently said modelling points to a rise in cases as many adults are not immunised.
The professor told the BBC last week there was “quite a wide range of uncertainty” over how big the wave would be “because it depends on how quickly the vaccine rollout continues”, as well as how many people come forward for vaccination.
It also depends on how people behave as the lockdown is gradually relaxed, he added.