Second virus wave in UK winter could see 120,000 deaths Jul 15, 2020 0 635 12345 AFPLondonA second coronavirus wave in Britain this winter could see 120,000 deaths in hospitals alone in a “reasonable worst-case scenario”, scientists warned on Tuesday.The Academy of Medical Sciences report, commissioned by the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, urged immediate action to mitigate a second wave.With hospitals also battling seasonal flu cases, a second wave could eclipse the current outbreak resulting in up to 120,000 deaths between September and June next year. The modelling does not include deaths in care homes or the wider community, and assumes no government action to prevent a fresh surge in cases.Britain has seen almost 45,000 deaths so far in the first wave -- the highest toll in Europe and third only to the United States and Brazil.The latest predictions are based on an assumption that the R rate -- which measures how many people an infected person is expected to infect -- rises to 1.7 from September.The scientists also modelled for a lower increased R rate of 1.5, which would lead to 74,800 deaths.The R rate is currently between 0.7 to 0.9 across the whole country, according to the latest government figure published last Friday.Stephen Holgate, who led the study Academy of Medical Sciences study, said the 120,000 figure was “not a prediction but it is a possibility”.“The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of COVID-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately.”The group of 37 scientists involved in the report said the government needed to prepare immediately because of the “serious risk” to health of a potential surge in cases.A winter outbreak could be worse due to people spending more time indoors, where the virus can spread more easily, added Azra Ghani, from Imperial College London.The report calls for “intense preparation” this month and next to prevent the country’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) from being overwhelmed.That includes work to minimise community transmission, a public information campaign and ensuring enough protective equipment for frontline medical and social care staff.The government’s test, trace and isolate programme also needed to be scaled up, along with surveillance and ensuring at risk individuals, health and care workers get flu jabs. RELATED ARTICLES US carries out first federal execution in 17 years Jul 15, 2020 0 1793 Scaled-down Bastille Day parade pays homage to French health workers Jul 15, 2020 0 611 Tell-all book by Trump’s niece released after family bid to block it Jul 15, 2020 0 974 China to hit Lockheed Martin with sanctions over Taiwan deal AFP Beijing China said on Tuesday it would impose sanctions on US defence group Lockheed Martin, days after the United States approved a potential $620 million upgrade package for missiles to Taiwan -- fuelling tensions .. US stance on South China Sea undermines regional peace: Beijing DPA Beijing China on Tuesday criticised Washington for challenging Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea amid escalating tensions between the two countries. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said .. Japan defence review slams China’s virus ‘disinformation’ TOKYO: China has been spreading “disinformation” about the coronavirus and its naval activities are a matter of “grave” concern, Japan said in its annual defence review published on Tuesday. After a period of warming .. French president wants face masks mandatory indoors as virus picks up PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that face masks could soon be required in public indoor spaces to curtail the coronavirus outbreak, acknowledging that infections were again on the rise. His .. Baby infected with COVID-19 in the womb: French study PARIS: Doctors in France have described what they said was the first confirmed case of a newborn infected in the womb with COVID-19 by the mother. The baby boy, born in March, suffered brain swelling and neurological .. Germany, Sweden lift COVID-19 travel restrictions BERLIN: Germany has lifted its travel warning for Sweden as the number of coronavirus cases there has fallen since the beginning of July. Sweden was the last country in Europe where the German Foreign Ministry had a travel .. Austria bans flights from Balkans to prevent imported virus cases VIENNA: Austria on Tuesday said it was suspending passenger flights from most Balkan countries, Moldova and Egypt to lower the risk of travellers infected with coronavirus entering the country. The measure will take .. UK U-turn as government confirms face mask order LONDON: Face masks will become compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from next week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday, marking a U-turn on previous policy. The new legislation will come into force ..