Biggest rises in Covid cases now happening outside southern and eastern England

The biggest increases in Covid-19 case rates are now happening outside the south and east of England, latest figures show.The Liverpool City Region and parts of the West Midlands have seen particularly sharp rises.In Knowsley on Merseyside the rate has soared from 455.4 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to December 30 to 1,263.4 per 100,000 in the seven days to January 6 – the biggest week-on-week rise for any local authority area in England.Halton in Cheshire, which is also part of the Liverpool City Region, saw the second biggest jump, from 533.2 to 1,220.2.And Liverpool itself recorded the third largest increase, from 387.5 to 958.6. (PA…

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Confirmed cases of COVID-19 variant from South Africa identified in UK

The 2 cases were identified in the UK on 22 December 2020 and both have been in contact with someone who has travelled from South Africa. Public Health England’s Health Protection Teams have followed up with both cases and contact tracing is underway. The new variant named B1.351 (also referred to as 501Y.V2) was first detected in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, in samples at the beginning of October. Molecular dating suggests that it could have been in circulation from the end of August. The rapid spread of the variant in South Africa could be an indication of increased transmissibility but this is not yet confirmed. PHE is…

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Hospitals across south-eastern England cancel treatments as coronavirus cases rise

Support us and go ad-freeHospitals across south-eastern England are postponing non-urgent procedures as some face double the number of coronavirus patients they had in the spring.The NHS in Kent confirmed on 18 December that it would be putting a stop to some planned treatments across the region “due to the increase in Covid patients being treated”.Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS trust had 221 Covid-19 patients on 16 December, more than 120 more than the 98 they had in the first peak on 8 April.(PA Graphics) East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust was treating 357 people with coronavirus on 16 December, almost twice the maximum number they had…

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Africa records two million coronavirus cases amid fears of fresh surge

Africa has surpassed two million confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases as health officials warn of infections starting to creep up again into a second surge.Second waveThe Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday that the 54-country continent has seen more than 48,000 deaths from coronavirus. The continent of 1.3bn people is being warned against “prevention fatigue” as countries loosen pandemic restrictions to ease their economies’ suffering and more people travel.The Africa CDC director this week openly worried that the level of mask-wearing has gone down and called that dangerous. The rubber boots of Kenyan medical workers stand in a line to dry after being decontaminated…

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COVID-19: comparison of geographic allocation of cases in England by lower tier local authority

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‘Inevitable’ rise in cases during firebreak as Wales set to come out of lockdown

Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said it was “inevitable” that cases would rise in some areas of the country as it prepares to come out of a firebreak lockdown.Back to a new normalA new set of national rules will follow the 17-day lockdown in Wales, which Drakeford said will be easier to follow as he looks to avoid a “reliance” on entirely local measures. It comes after the Welsh government faced calls to extend the lockdown – which ends on Monday 9 November – in the south Wales valleys where the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases has risen. On Monday, our firebreak will end and a new set…

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Indian capital struggles with surge in coronavirus cases

India has reported 45,674 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, with the capital coping with a sharp surge of nearly 7,000 cases a day this week.India’s tally of confirmed cases – currently the second largest in the world behind the United States – has exceeded 8.5 million.The Health Ministry also reported 559 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 126,121. Coronavirus testing in New Delhi (Manish Swarup/AP)India has seen an overall steady dip in new cases after touching nearly 100,000 a day in mid-September. However, the tally in New Delhi continues to hover around 7,000 a day after dropping to nearly 1,000 in…

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Pressure is building on hospitals as coronavirus cases soar

Pressure is building on NHS hospitals, with a steep rise in the number of people needing urgent treatment for coronavirus (Covid 19), senior government advisers have said.England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said that while cases are rising fastest in the North of England, it is of “concern” that they are “heating up” in more parts of the country compared with a week ago.(PA Graphics) Speaking at a press briefing ahead of an announcement on further restrictions from prime minister Boris Johnson, Van-Tam said other regions are now following the North West of England pattern where the virus moved through the age bands, having started spiking…

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