By the end of the summer, NI could be seeing 1,000 or more Covid instances per day, according to modeling projects.


By the end of the summer, NI could be seeing 1,000 or more Covid instances per day, according to modeling projects.

Department of Health modeling suggests that by the end of the summer, Northern Ireland might be recording over 1,000 Covid-19 instances every day.

The department’s core forecast of the virus’s trajectory over the following months is 1,000 to 1,200 daily cases by the end of August.

By mid-September, that number of cases would equate to 200 to 300 hospital inpatients with Covid-19.

The model is based on three assumptions: the Delta variant becoming dominant in the region; 85 percent of the adult population receiving two doses of vaccination; and the public continuing to follow social distance and hygiene guidelines.

The government claimed there were 254 probable or confirmed instances of the Delta strain in Northern Ireland at a media conference on Wednesday.

Professor Ian Young, the chief scientific adviser, described three modeling scenarios at the briefing: central, pessimistic, and optimistic.

“Under a central scenario, by the end of August, with 85 percent of adults having been twice vaccinated, we expect roughly 1,100 cases of the virus every day,” he said.

“And that would convert into roughly 200-250 inpatients three weeks later as a result of having gotten Covid in the community.”

In the gloomy scenario, the region would record more than 5,000 cases each day at a peak that would occur earlier in the summer.

Those transmission rates would result in a higher number of hospital inpatients than at any other time during the epidemic.

Prof Young, on the other hand, believes that Northern Ireland will never reach that point.

He stated that health professionals would know weeks before the peak whether the region was on that worst-case trajectory, and would be able to advise the executive to take steps to reduce transmission rates.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get there,” Prof Young added, “because we’d give a clear indication four to six weeks before that happened that we were pursuing the gloomy scenario, and then extra measures might be taken if necessary.”

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