Mortality rates in hospital have “plummeted” between the first and second waves of the pandemic, said Liz Lightstone, a kidney specialist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. “Even if you get COVID-19 badly enough to be admitted, you are much, much more likely to survive now than a year ago and much less likely to need treatment in intensive care,” she said.
On top of vaccines, treatments have played a huge part. These include repurposed off-the-shelf drugs as well as new medicines developed specifically in record time to treat COVID-19.
But the growing confidence of health care staff in treating COVID-19 has also helped boost the chances of survival, argues Lightstone, who co-chairs Imperial’s COVID-19 treatment and guideline group.