Covid is now killing HALF as many people per day as a bad flu year as experts say pandemic will be on the brink of becoming 'endemic' after Omicron wave subsides
- There are growing calls for No10 to learn to live with Covid rather than focus on halting the spread of the virus
- Right now just 130 people dying from Covid every day in England at what is believed to be peak of Omicron
- Govt statisticians believe more than 400 influenza deaths per day at peak of last bad flu season in 2017/18


Daily Covid deaths are currently running at less than half the rate expected in a bad flu year, MailOnline analysis suggests as experts claim the UK is finally on the brink of beating the pandemic. There are growing calls for No10 to learn to live with Covid rather than focus on halting the spread of the virus now there is such a big disconnect between infections and deaths.

Right now just 130 people are dying from the coronavirus every day in England at what is believed to be the peak of the Omicron outbreak, compared to 1,300 last January before vaccines were widely available. Daily deaths have barely moved since the start of autumn, despite infection rates more than quadrupling over the same time following the emergence of the ultra-transmissible variant.

For comparison, Government estimates show there were more than 400 influenza deaths per day at the peak of the last bad flu season in 2017/18, and almost 300 daily fatalities the previous year. Just like this winter, hospitals were forced to cancel routine operations and patients were told to steer clear of A&E units during both of those outbreaks.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert from the University of East Anglia, said the figures showed that the burden of Covid is now comparable to flu. He told MailOnline Covid would 'almost certainly' get weaker every year as people develop natural immunity and eventually become a common cold that kills only the very vulnerable further down the line. 'Once we're past this Omicron peak - excluding another unexpected variant that reverses all of our progress - then we'll be close to the point of endemic,' Professor Hunter added.

His comments come after Dr Clive Dix, the former chief of the UK's vaccine taskforce, called for a return to a 'new normality' and for Covid to be treated like the flu now that they have a similar death rate.

MailOnline analysis shows the UK's case fatality rate - the proportion of confirmed infections that end in death - has shrunk 21-fold from 3 per cent last winter to 0.15 per cent at the end of December. For comparison, seasonal influenza is thought to have a case-fatality rate of around 0.1 per cent but fewer tests are done. Other scientists expect the infection-fatality rate, which is naturally even lower, to be similar.

Read more: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10386665/Covid-killing-half-people-bad-flu-year.html


Live and let live