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    Britain records nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases in highest daily total since MAY

    Britain records nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases in highest daily total since MAY as official data shows infections have risen 40% in a week and health chiefs announce 20 more deaths

    • The seven-day average is now 3,286 compared with 2,358 last Wednesday – a 40 per cent rise 
    • Infections have soared in the past fortnight after schools and workplaces began to return to normality
    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended the failing coronavirus testing system today
    • He said it is trying to meet a ‘colossal spike’ in demand as official draw up testing priority plans
    • It comes as official data shows cases among people in their 40s and 50s have risen by 90% since August
    • Public Health England data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged 40 to 49
    • In comparison, the Covid-19 infection rate for the same age group in England was 12.4 at the end of August
    • Fears of a second wave are growing as number of daily cases has topped 3,000 for the first time since May

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    Britain has recorded nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases for the first time since the start of May and the number of people being admitted to hospital has risen once again, adding to mounting fears the outbreak is spiralling out of control again. 

    Official data shows infections have risen 40 per cent in a week. The seven-day average of daily infections currently stands at 3,286, a massive jump on the 2,358 last Wednesday. 

    The UK hasn’t recorded more than 4,000 new cases a day since May 8 after the crisis fizzled out and dropped to record lows in July. 

    The outbreak slowly started to grow after restrictions were lifted on ‘Super Saturday’ at the start of July, allowing the nation to finally enjoy some of their summer after being in lockdown since March. Infections have soared in the past fortnight after teachers and pupils went back to school and workers dashed back to their offices. 

    Health chiefs also announced 20 more laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 deaths across all settings today. Wales was the only home nation to declare no new victims.

    Separate figures show hospital admissions in England — another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic — are starting to rise again. Another 172 newly-infected patients needed NHS treatment on Monday, with the figure being above 100 for almost a week. For comparison, the average number of admissions dropped to just 45 at the end of August.

    It come as government figures reveal Covid-19 cases are soaring among middle-aged people in England and have risen by upwards of 90 per cent in a fortnight as the outbreak continues to grow, official figures show. But adults in their twenties — who aren’t as vulnerable to the disease — are still driving the outbreak, according to Public Health England. 

    Government officials say a second wave of Covid-19 in Britain would not be nearly as bad as the first — which killed between 40 and 55,000 people — because we are better at containing the virus through local lockdowns and social distancing measures, and that medical breakthroughs have helped to slash the death rate.  

    Hospital admissions — another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic — have doubled in England over the past ten days. More than 150 newly-infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, up from a rolling seven-day average of 52 on the last day of August

    Hospital admissions — another way of measuring the severity of the pandemic — have doubled in England over the past ten days. More than 150 newly-infected patients required NHS treatment on Sunday, up from a rolling seven-day average of 52 on the last day of August

    How hospital admissions have changed over time: Data shows how they peaked at more than 3,000 admission a day at the start of April. Circled in red is the most recent four weeks worth of data

    How hospital admissions have changed over time: Data shows how they peaked at more than 3,000 admission a day at the start of April. Circled in red is the most recent four weeks worth of data

    In other coronavirus news today:

    • Britons could face an even tougher lockdown within two weeks unless the Rule of Six brings down coronavirus cases, it was claimed today, with a possible option being a 10pm curfew on pubs;  
    • Rhondda in south Wales will be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Thursday following an increase of coronavirus cases;  
    • A hospital in Manchester accounted for a third of all Covid-19 deaths in England last week, it was revealed today amid fears the life-threatening disease is spreading between wards.

    SECOND WAVE WON’T BE AS BAD, GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CLAIM 

    A second wave of Covid-19 in Britain would not be nearly as bad as the first because we are better at containing and treating the virus now, Government officials have claimed. 

    One reason for this prediction is the fact that we now know so much more about the virus. This includes medical advances, such as the discovery that steroid treatment dexamethasone can cut the risk of death from coronavirus by a third.

    Officials also say that local lockdowns – and the beleaguered test and trace service – have successfully prevented recent outbreaks from spreading more widely.

    Nonetheless, they stress that it is wrong to assume that the virus is only circulating among the young. While many new cases are patients aged between 17 and 21, the latest statistics show infection rates for those in their 50s and 60s are now as high as they were for those in their 20s several weeks ago.

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    The drastic rise of 3,991 cases today is the highest daily figure since May 8, when 

    It comes amid continuing concerns over the inability to access tests in England, and delays in getting results back quickly. 

    A surge in demand for coronavirus tests following the lifting of several lockdown restrictions this summer, coming to a head in the past few weeks with schools re-opening and a back-to-work drive, has led to local shortages. Many people with symtoms have reported being directed to test sites hundreds of miles from home. 

    Boris Johnson defended the troubled Covid-19 testing system today as the Government draws up a list setting out who will be at the front of the queue for coronavirus tests after a ‘colossal spike’ in demand.

    Care home residents and staff are likely to be near the top of the list, as Mr Johnson acknowledged fears of a fresh coronavirus crisis in care homes. 

    Deaths being announced each day by the Department of Health have tumbled since the peak of Britain’s Covid-19 crisis, with more than 1,000 patients killed on some days in April. 

    The most up-to-date government coronavirus death toll — released yesterday afternoon — stood at 41,637. It takes into account victims who have died within 28 days of testing positive. 

    The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours. It is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.

    And the figure does not always match updates provided by the home nations. Department of Health officials work off a different time cut-off, meaning daily updates from Scotland and Northern Ireland are out of sync.

    The toll announced by NHS England every day, which only takes into account fatalities in hospitals, doesn’t match up with the DH figures because they work off a different recording system.

    For instance, some deaths announced by NHS England bosses will have already been counted by the Department of Health, which records fatalities ‘as soon as they are available’.

    The government’s official toll is different to the figures compiled by the ONS, which includes suspected fatalities where coronavirus was mentioned on a death certificate and not just lab-confirmed ones.

    ONS data released yesterday also revealed the total number of deaths in England and Wales has also fallen below the five-year average for the first time in a month, dropping 15.7 per cent below the average expected. Experts said this was because it contained the August bank holiday, which would have caused a recording lag.

    Curfews, pub closures and small gatherings only: how the UK could throttle second wave

    Britain could follow the example of Belgium in taking steps to throttle the rising number of coronavirus cases.

    Brussels was able to curtail a second wave of coronavirus by limiting the number of people who could socialise together and imposing a nationwide curfew. 

    The European country experienced a resurgence of the virus in mid-July that was comparable to the UK’s current trajectory.

    On July 29, officials there brought in new rules reduced the number of people who could socialise together from 15 to five and introduced a 10pm curfew on the entire population.

    Coronavirus infections started to rise in Belgium in mid-July, with the weekly case rate going over 35 per 100,000 by August- the level currently being felt in Britain – and daily infections breaching 1,000. The numbers have fallen over recent weeks, with only 194 new cases reported on September 1.

    Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is among those who have praised the actions of the Belgian Government to  tackle the outbreak.

    Last week he said Belgium was a ‘clear indication that if you act rapidly and decisively when these changes are happening, there is a reasonable or good chance of bringing the rates back down under control.’ Such a move would allow people to go still go to work and school but would place curbs on nightlife, which could place high pressure on the hospitality industry, with pubs and restaurants forced to close early. 

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    A further 11 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,687, NHS England said on Wednesday.

    Patients, who died between September 11 and September 15, were aged between 69 and 98 and all had known underlying health conditions. 

    Scotland’s additional death reported today takes the country’s total to 2,501. Health chiefs announced 267 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.   

    Public Health Wales said no further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,597. 

    However, there have been a further 199 cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19,880. 

    Today the Welsh Government announced that Rhondda Cynon Taf will be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Thursday following an increase of coronavirus cases.

    Residents of the South Wales region will be banned from meeting households indoors, travelling outside of the council area and face masks must be worn in shops, similar to Caerphilly which is also under a local lockdown.  

    The local authority area’s incidence rate hit 82.1 per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

    The increase goes well above the infection rate of 50 per 100,000 people marked as the threshold that saw nearby Caerphilly go under local lockdown on September 8.

    Health minister Vaughan Gething said: ‘We have seen a rapid rise in cases in Rhondda Cynon Taf in a very short space of time, linked to people socialising indoors and not following social distancing guidelines.

    ‘We now have evidence of wider community transmission in the borough, which means we need to take urgent action to control and, ultimately, reduce the spread of the virus and protect people’s health.’ 

    Meanwhile Britons could face an even tougher lockdown within two weeks unless the Rule of Six brings down coronavirus cases, it was claimed today.

    Ministers and government officials insist they are ready to take more draconian steps to stop the spread, despite a wave of criticism.

    Rhondda Cynon Taf's incidence rate hit 82.1 per 100,000 people over the past seven days

    Health minister Vaughan Gething said the council area had seen a 'rapid rise in cases in a very short space of time' and would need restrictions similar to Caerphilly's being imposed

    Today the Welsh Government announced that Rhondda Cynon Taf will be placed under a local lockdown from 6pm on Thursday following an increase of coronavirus cases

    MANCHESTER HOSPITAL ACCOUNTED FOR A THIRD OF COVID-19 DEATHS IN ONE WEEK 

    One hospital in Manchester accounted for a third of all Covid-19 deaths in England last week, it was revealed today amid fears the life-threatening disease is spreading between wards. 

    Tameside General Hospital, in Ashton-under-Lyne, suffered 18 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus fatalities in the week to September 10, treble the six fatalities the week prior.

    Figures from NHS England, which records all deaths in the country’s hospitals, show a total of 52 victims were registered in the same week. 

    Some of the infected patients who died at the 500-bed Tameside General Hospital had been admitted for other illnesses before catching the coronavirus during their hospital stay, sources have claimed. 

    Health chiefs are now investigating the spate of deaths but the hospital insists it is a ‘routine review’ during the pandemic. 

    The deaths at Tameside General Hospital, which serves the surrounding area of Tameside and the town of Glossop in Derbyshire, were described by The Guardian as ‘sudden and unexplained’.

    It is currently unclear how many of the 18 Tameside patients died after catching Covid-19, while at hospital for another reason.

    Well-placed NHS sources confirmed that at least some of the cases were the result of nosocomial infection – transmission within a hospital.

    But hospital sources insisted that ‘the majority’ of the 18 people had Covid-19 before they came in, suggesting there has been an increase in admissions for the disease in Tameside as a result of rising cases.

    The NHS checked last week whether the hospital has stringent infection control, preventing the coronavirus from spreading between patients and staff. According to sources, official were satisfied. 

    Tameside is one of the 10 boroughs that make up Greater Manchester, which has been hit by local Covid-related restrictions. 

    It is currently battling one of the highest infection rates of Covid-19 in England, with 107.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to data. This is almost four times higher than the country’s average (26). 

    Some 244 positive test results were reported in Tameside in just one week to September 12, up from 148 the week prior, suggesting the spread is not slowing. However testing has also increased in the area.

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    Options on the table could range from curfews to closing pubs – although there is a determination that schools will stay open. 

    This is despite warnings today that schools could be forced to close by default in coming weeks because of a massive shortage of tests across the UK. 

    ‘Lockdown is the only thing that we know works, to be frank,’ one government science adviser told ITV.

    A senior member of the government told ITV’s Robert Peston that there was ‘no possibility of us waiting for the death rate to rise before we act’.

    They added that the government will reassess whether the Rule of Six has been enough to control the situation in fortnight – but there is a widespread view that schools should not be shut again.

    A leading scientific advisor reportedly said: ‘I think that if we want to keep schools open, we probably have to give serious consideration to a wide range of other measures to stop a major second wave.

    ‘And we have to think about doing that right now – which we are starting to do.’

    Although cases have spiked over 3,000 a day, it had been mainly among younger people, who are less likely to be badly affected. But now Covid-19 cases are soaring among middle-aged people in England. 

    PHE figures released on Friday, which offer the most detailed insight into the state of the coronavirus crisis in England, revealed how people in their twenties are driving the current outbreak.

    The infection rate for those aged 20-29 has risen from 23.5 cases for every 100,000 people in the week ending August 16, to 46 in the most recent full week of data, which finished on September 6.

    The rate is now 29.8 for people in their 30s, up from 19.6 the week before and 16.4 at the end of August. And it has jumped to 23.4 for 40 to 49-year-olds, up from 13.5 in the previous seven-day spell and 12.4 at the end of last month. 

    Infections rates have risen from 10.9 to 20 in the space of a week for people in their 50s, and have increased from 7.5 to 12.4 for those in their sixties. 

    Cases are also rising for people over the age of 70, who are the most vulnerable to the disease because of their age. Infection rates have jumped from 4.6 to 7.3 for those in their 70s over the lat week, and from 8.9 to 12.9 for those 80 or older.

    For children, rates have jumped from 5.6 to 7.7 for those up to the age of four, and have risen from 5.1 to 8.1 among 10 to 19-year-olds. 

    Hospital admissions have also risen over the same time-frame, according to data published by the Department of Health.

    Government statistics show 153 newly-infected patients needed NHS care in England on Sunday, September 13. Similar data has not yet been released for Monday or yesterday. 

    For comparison, 85 patients were admitted to hospital in England last Sunday.

    The rolling seven-day average of hospital admissions — considered one of the best ways to analyse trends — shows the rate has risen from 52.43 on the last day of August to 127.57 on September 13. The rate topped 100 on September 10 and was 72 last Sunday. 

    Hopes of fighting a second wave are also high because vaccines could be available as early as next spring, with a ‘long pipeline’ of promising jabs being trialled.

    In addition, early signs from the southern hemisphere indicate that any flu outbreak will be less severe than in previous years.

    It comes as top Belgium scientist Jean-Luc Gala said Belgium’s rising infection rate is ‘completely normal’ and ongoing lockdown measures should be relaxed. He told French-language newspaper La Dernière Heure that ‘people no longer suffer from the coronavirus, but measures to stop it.’

    He said people should not worry as the virus ‘is circulating in a category that does not suffer from it, young people who will at worst have small symptoms, at best nothing at all’. He said people who the virus only midly affects becoming infected is beneficial as it contributes to wide-spread immunity. 

    Ministers had been concerned that a combination of flu and corona cases would prove catastrophic for the NHS this winter.

    However, officials also expect that advice on hygiene and social distancing during the corona pandemic will suppress flu rates – as will the trend for working from home and avoiding public transport. 

    In Australia and New Zealand – which typically provide good indicators of how the flu will develop in the UK – cases have remained low compared with last year.

    Officials still believe the next six months ‘will be very tricky’ for the NHS and the country as a whole – but their cautious optimism provides a marked contrast to recent warnings from doctors’ unions and medical colleges, which have claimed that hospitals would be unable to cope with a second wave.

    A survey by the British Medical Association this week found that 86 per cent of doctors expect coronavirus to surge again over the next six months. 

    Public Health England (PHE) data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged between 40 and 49 — up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates have nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, jumping from 10.9 to 20

    Public Health England (PHE) data reveals 23.4 cases are now diagnosed for every 100,000 people aged between 40 and 49 — up from 12.4 at the end of August. And coronavirus infection rates have nearly doubled in just a week for people in their fifties, jumping from 10.9 to 20

    The most up-to-date PHE data, which was released on Friday, clearly shows cases are spiralling across every age group. People in their twenties — who aren't as vulnerable to the disease and are likely to escape death or serious illness — are driving the spike with an infection rate of 46, which has doubled in the last three weeks

    The most up-to-date PHE data, which was released on Friday, clearly shows cases are spiralling across every age group. People in their twenties — who aren’t as vulnerable to the disease and are likely to escape death or serious illness — are driving the spike with an infection rate of 46, which has doubled in the last three weeks 

     

    When Spain, France and Belgium hit 18 cases per 100,000 (which the UK did at the start of September) they then saw admissions increase by up to four-fold. But Belgium was able to reduce its hospital rate by reintroducing tough measures

    When Spain, France and Belgium hit 18 cases per 100,000 (which the UK did at the start of September) they then saw admissions increase by up to four-fold. But Belgium was able to reduce its hospital rate by reintroducing tough measures

    In August the hospitalisation rate in Belgium doubled from one per 100,000 to two per 100,000, but it has since been squashed

    In August the hospitalisation rate in Belgium doubled from one per 100,000 to two per 100,000, but it has since been squashed

    Hospitalisation rates remain low and falling in the UK, from a peak of more than 30 per 100,000 people to fewer than one per 100,000, but officials fear they will rise again soon

    Hospitalisation rates remain low and falling in the UK, from a peak of more than 30 per 100,000 people to fewer than one per 100,000, but officials fear they will rise again soon

    PARENTS, TEACHERS AND CHILDREN WILL GO TO THE BACK OF THE QUEUE FOR COVID TESTS

    Parents, teachers and children face being put to the back of the queue for Covid tests as Matt Hancock admitted yesterday swabs will have to be rationed.

    In a humiliating climbdown, the Health Secretary said a ‘priority list’ would ensure environments such as care homes and hospitals would have enough.

    However, it comes at the expense of millions of others, with warnings issued that the UK was being put into ‘lockdown by default’ as a result of the shortage of tests.

    Hundreds of schools have been partially or completely closed because of coronavirus cases – both proven and suspected – leading to fears of a domino effect, resulting in parents not being able to go to work and the return of empty offices.

    More than one in 10 children were not in classes last Thursday, figures show, as the National Governance Association claims the growing number of pupils and staff awaiting tests could cripple parent confidence in getting their children back to school. 

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    However, Government officials believe that while cases are on the rise again, the curve will be flatter when compared with March and April.

    One reason for this prediction is the fact that we now know so much more about the virus. This includes medical advances, such as the discovery that steroid treatment dexamethasone can cut the risk of death from coronavirus by a third.

    Officials also say that local lockdowns – and the beleaguered test and trace service – have successfully prevented recent outbreaks from spreading more widely.

    Nonetheless, they stress that it is wrong to assume that the virus is only circulating among the young. 

    While many new cases are patients aged between 17 and 21, the latest statistics show infection rates for those in their 50s and 60s are now as high as they were for those in their 20s several weeks ago.

    Figures from the Department of Health yesterday showed there were 3,105 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, compared with around 5,000 a day at the height of the crisis. There were another 27 deaths, up from nine recorded on Tuesday.

    A special envoy from the World Health Organisation yesterday said the ‘grotesque’ global outlook was ‘much worse than any science fiction’.

    Appearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr David Nabarro told MPs: ‘It’s a terrible situation… a health issue has got so out of control it’s knocking the world into not just a recession but a huge economic contraction, which would probably double the number of poor people, double the number of malnourished [and] lead to hundreds of millions of small businesses going bankrupt.’








    SWEDEN AND US DATA SUGGEST DEATHS MAY NOT FOLLOW CASES SURGE 

    Evidence from Sweden and America suggests that Britain may avoid a second wave of coronavirus deaths despite a rebound in infections.  

    The UK’s rise of of 21,300 cases in the last week – more than double the figure of 8,700 two weeks ago – has sparked fears that Britain is following in the footsteps of France and Spain which have both seen alarming spikes in virus cases. 

    But despite warnings from the WHO that Europe’s death toll is likely to mount in the autumn, experts hope that the second peak will be less deadly because patients are typically younger and doctors are better prepared for the disease. 

    In Sweden, the death rate has been falling steadily since April despite a peak of cases in the summer – with the country’s top epidemiologist saying that deaths can be kept low without drastic lockdown measures. 

    France recorded its highest-ever spike in cases with more than 10,000 on Saturday, but deaths are nowhere near the mid-April peak and the country’s PM says it must ‘succeed in living with this virus’ without going back into lockdown.  

    In the United States, cases surged to record levels in July and August after the first wave had receded – but death rates in summer hotspots such as Texas and Florida were well below those in New York City where the virus hit hardest in the spring.

    In Sweden, which raised eyebrows around the world by keeping shops and restaurants open throughout the pandemic, deaths have been falling since April. 

    There are fears that the UK will experience a rise in the number of people dying of coronavirus as a direct result of cases surging. But data shows otherwise – the US has almost completely avoided a second wave in Covid-19 deaths despite seeing a huge increase in the number of people infected since June

    There are fears that the UK will experience a rise in the number of people dying of coronavirus as a direct result of cases surging. But data shows otherwise – the US has almost completely avoided a second wave in Covid-19 deaths despite seeing a huge increase in the number of people infected since June

    Despite seeing a new surge in coronavirus infections, Sweden has recorded a continuing fall in fatalities since the start of May

    Despite seeing a new surge in coronavirus infections, Sweden has recorded a continuing fall in fatalities since the start of May

    Only 11 new deaths were announced last week, down from a peak of 752 fatalities in seven days in mid-April. 

    Cases reached their height in Sweden in the second half of June, when some days saw more than 1,000 infections – but the death toll continued to fall regardless. 

    Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, who has become the face of the no-lockdown strategy, said in a recent interview that voluntary hygiene measures had been ‘just as effective’ as complete shutdowns. 

    ‘The rapidly declining cases we see in Sweden right now is another indication that you can get the number of cases down quite a lot in a country without having a complete lockdown,’ he told Unherd

    Tegnell added that ‘deaths are not so closely connected to the amount of cases you have in a country’, saying the death rate was more closely linked to whether older people are being infected and how well the health system can cope. 

    ‘Those things will influence mortality a lot more, I think, than the actual spread of the disease,’ he said.

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