COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2

Epidemiological Profile of The United Kingdom

The second wave of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom between August 2, 2020 and May 31, 2021 followed by a recent third wave run up between June 2021 and October 3, 2021. The epidemiological data is expressed as the number of positive cases per 100000 per Km2 of significant population density. On January 10, 2021, at the time of the second peak of the second COVID-19 epidemic wave only about 45% of the British population (68 million) became exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. During the first peak of the third wave on July 25 already 83% of Britons were exposed to the virus and began mounting their natural immune response (excluding artificial vaccinations).

On February 22, 2021 Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out a country-wide road map for lock down lifting:

  • March 21 - Schools reopened.
  • March 29 - Two households / six people allowed to meet outdoors. Local travel permitted.
  • April 12 (or later) - Opening of non-essential retail and personal services, other lock down easing.
  • May 17 (or later) - Most rules affecting outdoor social contact removed, more lock down easing.
  • June 21 (or later) - All lock down limits removed.

The variant 202012/01 (B.1.1.7) was first reported in UK on December 14, 2020. Since then it has reached 100% proportion of all confirmed positive cases in that country, yet the COVID-19 epidemiology continued to have quite favorable outcome only till June 2021 when strict lock downs were eased. This provides overwhelming evidence for little lasting effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions on the mitigation of COVID-19 crisis. In addition, by early 2021 UK had one of the highest population vaccination rates in the world. The subsequent rise of incidence into the third epidemic wave despite the British government's massive vaccination campaign casts shadow on the effectiveness of vaccination programs all over the world as well. Interestingly, the UK's incidence peak of January 10, 2021 was ascribed by the mainstream media to the appearance of the B.1.1.7 variant in that country, yet the COVID-19 incidence peaked on January 10, 2021 also in numerous other nations where different strains of SARS-CoV-2 virus were reported. This clearly indicates that the coronavirus epidemiology proceeds independently from the implemented NPIs and regardless of variant in question.

The second and third wave of COVID-19 incidence profile in the UK plotted together with its corresponding Infection Fatality Ratio (IFR). 
The British COVID-19 mortality profile remained quite favorable throughout the epidemic despite moderate increase during the January 10, 2021 run up. This is likely due to predominantly younger population being affected in addition to consistent build up of herd immunity rendering more and more Britons resilient to the previous strains of the pathogen. 

In addition, the UK's COVID-19 second wave epidemiology was strongly positively correlated to the second wave epidemiology profiles in other countries yet not reporting the 202012/01 (B.1.1.7) variant: 
Countries Correlation coefficient "r" Statistical significance
UK/USA 0.816 P < 0.001
UK/Canada 0.871 P < 0.001
UK/Germany 0.764 P < 0.001
UK/Czech Republic 0.707 P < 0.001
UK/Slovakia 0.793 P < 0.001
UK/Norway 0.822 P < 0.001

Data: WHO weekly reported SARS-CoV-2 virus positive cases.