Coronavirus Cases Rises By 31% In UK
COVID-19 infections are rising so persistently in the United Kingdom that unless something can be done to reduce infections.
The “reasonable worst-case” scenario of 80,000 dead could be exceeded, scientists said on Friday.
Britain has recorded more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases a day on average over the last week. But the government has resisted a recent national lockdown even as France and Germany reintroduce country-wide restrictions.
British government scientists said that numbers were heading in the “wrong direction.”
They said the “reasonable worst-case” planning scenario for the winter of reaching 500 deaths a day. A toll of over 80,000 is in danger of being exceeded unless infection numbers are cut down. According to papers published by the government’s science advisers on Friday.
The Second Wave
In the paper, dated Oct. 14, advisers said that the exceeding of the worst-case scenario might continue for three or four weeks if infections were brought down. But since then, they have risen further.
New COVID-19 cases in England increased by around 51,900 each day last week, up nearly 50 per cent on the week before. An official survey said on Friday.
That suggested that the incidence of new infections was still rising steeply and had not levelled off, in contrast to the previous week’s survey.
“The UK was one of the hardest hit countries in the world in the first wave. It would be particularly tragic if we repeat this experience,” Professor James Naismith of the University of Oxford said, adding that the figures suggest 1% of the population of England had COVID-19.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a total of 568,100 individuals had Covid-19 in the week up to October 23. A 31 per cent increase on the figure of 433,300 recorded in the previous week. The estimates show that more than one in every hundred individuals in England is now contaminated. It could be much higher as private families, not hospitals and nursing homes, are not even counted. Over the past two weeks, the ONS said cases have increased in all age groups. While older adolescents and young adults still have the highest rates.
Infection Rates Steeply Rising
Infection rates also ‘appear to be steeply increasing among secondary school children’, they added. The North West and Yorkshire and the Humber remain England’s main hotspots. Rates in the North East, while still high, have now levelled off. Around 51,900 new cases were being recorded every day from October 17 to 23, the ONS added. Another increase in the previous week. Meanwhile, the proportion of people testing positive was found to have increased in both Wales and Northern Ireland. However, it remained lower in each.
Some 26,100 people in Wales had Covid-19 or one in 120 people. At the same time, 24,300 people in Northern Ireland were infected, equivalent to one in 80 people. ONS polling found that people under local restrictions in England were socialising less indoors. However, the opposite was true in Scotland and Wales.
Foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Friday said a national lockdown in England was not inevitable as he restated his faith in the government’s localised approach.
“We’ve seen some evidence since we started putting in place this tiered approach that the rate of increase has slowed,” Raab told BBC TV.
It also suggested the three-tier system was not having its intended effect on work patterns, with fewer people in tier 3 areas working from home than in level 2 regions (42 per cent versus 46 per cent). Those figures were only slightly higher than the proportion of people working from home in tier 1 areas. It stood at 37 per cent. Around one-tenth of people in England are under level 3 restrictions. Almost four in 10 under second-tier rules and a half under first-tier measures.