Health

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

The number of Britons falling ill with Covid has more than doubled in a week amid the rapid spread of the Indian variant across the UK, a symptom-tracking study warned today.

An estimated 11,908 people across the UK were catching the virus every day in the week ending June 5, according to the ZOE Covid study, up 109 per cent from 5,677 last week. 

The troubling figures add to mounting fears about England’s planned final lockdown easing on June 21 ‘Freedom Day’, with the scientist behind the surveillance study admitting the situation ‘has rapidly changed’ in the face of the mutant ‘Delta’ strain.

No10’s top scientists fear the mutant Indian strain could be up to 60 per cent more transmissible than the once dominant Kent version and SAGE modellers fear it will trigger a ‘substantial’ third wave — despite three-quarters of adults having been vaccinated.

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London and lead author of the ZOE research, said the spiralling case numbers were caused by ‘increased social interaction and a newly dominant variant that is much more transmissible’. 

But he added: ‘It’s clear that this is an epidemic among the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated populations in the UK and, due to the way vaccines have been rolled out, is largely affecting younger generations.

‘Vaccines are working and we want to encourage people to exercise caution, especially if they feel at all unwell, until they’ve been fully vaccinated. The race is on to fully vaccinate the whole population to save lives and return to normal life.’

Meanwhile, Test and Trace figures released today showed the number of positive cares in England rose by almost 45 per cent last week. More than 25,000 people who were swabbed in the seven-day spell ending June 2 had Covid, up from 17,000 the week before. 

This was despite around 850,000 fewer tests being carried out. Data also showed the number of people taking rapid Covid tests has fallen to its lowest level for three months – despite all members of the public being eligible to take two rapid tests a week. 

It emerged today that Boris Johnson could implement a ‘mix and match’ unlocking on Freedom Day, with face masks, work from home guidance and the rule of six indoors likely to still be mandatory after June 21 but the 30-guest cap on weddings dropped.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that ‘everybody can see cases and hospitalisations are going up’ and gave the strongest hint yet the much-anticipated milestone will be pushed back because of the rapid spread of the Indian Covid variant. 

Britain yesterday recorded another 7,540 positive coronavirus tests in the biggest week-on-week increase since February, with the mutant variant blamed for spiralling cases.  

The number of people falling ill with Covid has more than doubled in a week, a symptom-tracking study warned today amid the rapid spread of the Indian variant across the UK

Illness is rising significantly more rapidly in 20- to 29-year-olds than in vaccinated older age groups, There were more than 400 symptomatic cases per 100,000 people in the cohort compared to less than 50 in over-60s

Illness is rising significantly more rapidly in 20- to 29-year-olds than in vaccinated older age groups, There were more than 400 symptomatic cases per 100,000 people in the cohort compared to less than 50 in over-60s

There are currently 1,917 vaccinated people falling ill with the virus, compared to 9,991 unvaccinated people. But cases are increasing in both groups, with 89 per cent more symptomatic cases in people week-on-week even after being jabbed

There are currently 1,917 vaccinated people falling ill with the virus, compared to 9,991 unvaccinated people. But cases are increasing in both groups, with 89 per cent more symptomatic cases in people week-on-week even after being jabbed

Meanwhile, Test and Trace figures released today showed the number of positive cares in England rose by almost 45 per cent last week. More than 25,000 people who were swabbed in the seven-day spell ending June 2 had Covid, up from 17,000 the week before

Meanwhile, Test and Trace figures released today showed the number of positive cares in England rose by almost 45 per cent last week. More than 25,000 people who were swabbed in the seven-day spell ending June 2 had Covid, up from 17,000 the week before

The rise in Test and Trace figures came despite around 850,000 fewer tests being carried out compared to the week before

The rise in Test and Trace figures came despite around 850,000 fewer tests being carried out compared to the week before

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King's College London said the Covid situation in the UK 'has rapidly changed'

Professor Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London said the Covid situation in the UK ‘has rapidly changed’

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

Despite fears infections will continue to spike given that restrictions have already been eased, other experts have called for calm. Anti-lockdown Tory MPs have demanded the PM sticks to his June 21 pledge.

NHS bosses say hospitals should be able to cope with surging cases because vaccines have meant fewer infected patients need medical care. Dr Richard Cree, an intensive care consultant in Middlesbrough, today claimed he was confident the third wave won’t mirror the crises seen last spring and in January.

Meanwhile, one virus-tracking scientist even claimed the outbreak could plateau soon because of the combined effect of jabs and warmer summer weather.

In other developments today, Matt Hancock admitted the first lockdown was delayed despite initial warnings over 820,000 deaths because ministers feared Britons would not tolerate the restrictions for long.

In a dramatic evidence session with MPs, the Health Secretary said that as early as January he was presented with a ‘reasonable worst case scenario’ of the huge potential toll, based on Spanish Flu. But imposing the draconian first national restrictions did not happen until March 23, with Mr Hancock pointing to expert advice that the public would only ‘put up with it’ for a limited time and concerns about the ‘immediate costs’.

In other developments today: 

  • Matt Hancock gave a damning assessment of the expert views on asymptomatic transmission, saying the WHO told him at the end of January that claims coming out of China were ‘likely a mistranslation’; 
  • NHS data revealed more than 5million people in England are now waiting for hospital treatment — the highest number since records began in 2007; 
  • Airline officials urged Rishi Sunak was urged to launch a new bailout package for the beleaguered aviation industry amid growing fears of a second ‘lost summer’; 
  • The Care Provider Alliance claimed Matt Hancock was repeatedly warned over the risk of not testing people discharged from hospitals into care homes at the start of the pandemic.

The ZOE Covid Study data suggests cases are higher and increasing faster in the unvaccinated population in the UK.

There are currently 1,917 vaccinated people falling ill with the virus every day, compared to just shy of 10,000 unvaccinated people.

Cases are increasing in both groups, jumping by 89 per cent among vaccinated people. But the rate of growth was quicker among those not yet jabbed (114 per cent).

Scotland and the North West were the worst affected regions in the UK.

An estimated 3,465 people are now coming down with Covid every day in the North West — in which swathes of the region have been given guidance to combat the Indian variant in hotspots — and 2,446 in Scotland.

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

 

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

Number of Brits falling ill with Covid every day more than DOUBLES in a week to nearly 12,000

he Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his wife Carrie on the beach at the Carbis Bay, Cornwall today, ahead of Friday's G7 summit.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson with his wife Carrie on the beach at the Carbis Bay, Cornwall today, ahead of Friday’s G7 summit.

But illness is rising significantly more rapidly in 20- to 29-year-olds than in vaccinated older age groups.

There were more than 400 symptomatic cases per 100,000 people in the cohort, compared to fewer than 50 in over-60s.

Professor Spector said: ‘The Covid situation in the UK has rapidly changed from one of the best performing nations to a nation again struggling with rising cases. 

‘Official confirmed cases are now around 7,500, which is the highest daily figure since late February. However, when you dig into the data, it’s clear that this is an epidemic among the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated populations in the UK and, due to the way vaccines have been rolled out, is largely affecting younger generations.

‘The rapid rise is likely down to two compounding factors; increased social interaction and a newly dominant variant that is much more transmissible. 

What are the top 25 Covid ‘hotspots’ according to the ZOE Symptom Study?

1. Stirling

2. Bury 

3. Manchester

4. Rochdale

5. Trafford

6. Bolton 

7. Kirklees 

8. Perth and Kinross 

9. Sunderland

10. Luton

11. South Ayrshire

12. East Lancashire

13. Edinburgh

14. Southwark

15. St Helens

16. Wigan

17. Oldham

18. Renfrewshire

19. West Lothian

20. East Dunbartonshire

21. Aberdeenshire

22. Wrexham

22. Leeds

24. Derby

25. Cheshire

838 cases per 100,000

672 

672 

605

589

553

539

501 

499 

473

453

395

390

379

379

349

345

336

309

297

295

290

290

288

273 

‘It’s no surprise that people are becoming fatigued with social distancing after a long 15 months of restrictions, which will only encourage the spread. 

‘The good news is that fully vaccinated people have much greater protection. Vaccines are working and we want to encourage people to exercise caution, especially if they feel at all unwell, until they’ve been fully vaccinated. 

‘The race is on to fully vaccinate the whole population to save lives and return to normal life.’ 

Separate Test and Trace figures today showed 25,091 people tested positive for Covid in England at least once in the week to June 2.

It is the highest number of people testing positive since the week to March 31.

Data also showed the number of people taking rapid Covid tests has fallen to its lowest level for three months – despite all members of the public being eligible to take two rapid tests a week.

Just under 3.5million lateral flow device (LFD) tests were conducted in England in the week to June 2, according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

This is down from 4.8million in the previous week, and is the lowest total since the week to March 3, when just under 2.8million tests were carried out.

The drop in the latest week coincided with the summer half-term holiday in schools, the Department of Health said.

LFD tests are swab tests that give results in 30 minutes or less without the need for processing in a laboratory.

Since April 9, everyone in England has been eligible for rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week.

Speaking at the G7 summit in Cornwall yesterday, Boris Johnson gave the clearest hint yet that lockdown easing on June 21 would not go ahead because of the rapid spread of the Indian variant.

Me Johnson said: ‘What everybody can see very clearly is that cases are going up and in some places hospitalisations are going up. What we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout, which has been phenomenal, has built up enough protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage. 

‘So that is what we will be looking at and there are arguments being made one way or another. But we will be driven by the data, we will be looking at that and setting it out on Monday.’ 

Just hours before the Prime Minister spoke, top SAGE adviser ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson suggested it would take at least another three weeks for scientists to know how much more transmissible the Indian variant is, suggesting hopes of ending lockdown in a fortnight are unlikely. 

Professor Ferguson, who has guided the Government through the pandemic, said scientists still don’t know how much faster the variant spreads, how much more deadly it is nor how big the third wave will be.

The chance that scientific advisers, ministers and Boris Johnson — who committed to ‘data not dates’ — will sign off on June 21 without this information is slim to none. An extra three weeks to collect the figures plus the PM’s one-week notice for a change in restrictions suggests in the best case scenario it will be early July before Step Four of the roadmap is taken.

Professor Ferguson said: ‘It’s well within the possibility that we could see another, third, wave at least comparable in terms of hospitalisations, as the second wave. At least deaths, I think, would certainly be lower. It’s hard to judge.’

The Imperial College London epidemiologist said researchers need to see how many people are admitted to hospital and die as a result of the current surge in infections. 

They believe it is around 60 per cent more transmissible than the Kent variant, more likely to put people in hospital and that vaccines work less well against it. 

There have now been more than 19,000 new cases in just three days and Professor Ferguson suggested the outbreak’s doubling time could be less than a week, warning of ‘quite fast doubling, comparable with what we saw before Christmas.’

The prolific SAGE member’s warning is the closest thing to confirmation that Boris Johnson will delay the ending of social distancing laws planned for June 21. His ministers today took a ‘wait and see’ approach to questions about the roadmap and told people to hold off making summer plans.

‘Mix and match’ unlocking for June 21? Boris could keep face masks but drop 30-guest wedding limit 

Boris Johnson could implement a ‘mix and match’ unlocking on Freedom Day, with face masks, work from home guidance and the rule of six indoors likely to still be mandatory after June 21 but the 30-guest cap on weddings dropped.

The Prime Minister said yesterday that ‘everybody can see cases and hospitalisations are going up’ and gave the strongest hint yet the much-anticipated milestone will be pushed back because of the rapid spread of the Indian Covid variant.

No10’s top scientists fear the mutant strain may be 60 per cent more transmissible than the once dominant Kent version and SAGE modellers fear it will trigger a ‘substantial’ third wave — despite three-quarters of adults having been vaccinated.

Despite mounting fears about plans to go ahead with the final unlocking and intensifying calls to delay it by up to four weeks to allow the NHS time to fully vaccinate millions more vulnerable over-50s, ministers are hopeful they can relax some curbs from later this month.

A senior Government source told the FT: ‘A mix-and-match approach is probably on the cards, given the limited number of levers left.’

Officials are working to find a solution that ‘pleases the PM’s instincts’, according to one minister, but the hybrid approach would be ‘very difficult’ to put in place. It could include lifting the current 30-person limit on weddings and receptions and allowing far greater crowds to attend ceremonies, bringing it in line with the Government’s policy on funerals.

Bar mitzvahs and christenings are also set to be boosted under the proposals and while socially distanced tables would not be required, guests may be urged to be ‘cautious’ about contact with other households, reports the Times.

Current guidelines suggest those attending bashes only participate in the first dance and wear masks at all times unless eating or drinking but under the new rules, people will be advised to assess the risk of hugging others themselves.

A government source said: ‘It’s been tough on the sector. If you’ve got stadiums full of people, why can’t weddings go ahead with more than 30 people?’

Mr Johnson softened his lockdown-ending stance yesterday in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit, admitting there was now ‘arguments’ on both sides of the restrictions-easing debate. The PM repeated his pledge that No10 ‘will be driven by the data’.

But just hours before his comments, top SAGE adviser ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson dealt another blow to hopes of Freedom Day going ahead.

The Imperial College London epidemiologist warned it would take up to another three weeks for scientists to get enough data to accurately work out how dangerous the Indian variant is and how bad the third wave will be. He added there was a risk of a ‘substantial third wave but we cannot be definitive about the scale of that’.

The chance that scientific advisers, ministers and Mr Johnson — who committed to following the science and ‘not dates’ — will sign off on June 21 without the most accurate modelling is slim to none.

Most Related Links :
todayuknews Governmental News Finance News

Source link

Back to top button
Native News Post