A report has revealed that five percent of people in the UK have been identified by a new tool to be at a greater risk of hospitalization due to severe COVID19 infection. They have contributed to three-quarters of fatality during the first wave of the pandemic. Experts have said that this new method can identify those sections of the population who need to be protected from the virus the most as the world grapples with the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic. They have claimed that it can predict the prospects of hospitalization in a much better way. As per the authors of the report, this new risk assessment method can be used by the doctors and patients for a better understanding of the risk. Experts have published this study in the medical journal BMJ.
The new tool for assessing the risk of serious illness due to COVID19 is called QCOVID. Experts from the UK have gathered data from six million people such as age, height weight ratio, ethnicity, and pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. Such Underlying conditions lead to a higher risk of severe COVID19 infection. Scientists have tried this new method on 2.2 million people to determine the risk of hospitalization and death due to the disease. The majority of them have not been diagnosed with COVID19 infection during the study. They have done this experiment in two phases. The first phase has continued from late January to April. The second phase has started in the month of May and ended on June 30. Experts have seen that more than three-quarters of people who have lost their lives due to the disease have been among five percent of people who have been identified by this tool to be at a higher risk.
The study has noted that though the tool has effectively identified those people who have been at a higher risk of death and hospitalization, however, it is not able to predict the reasons for such worse outcomes. Other experts, who have not been connected to this study, have said that the tool has real potential. The new risk assessment method helps in providing targeted protection to people. However, it needs a proper implementation plan; else, it will lose its purpose.