Virus cases surge as se­cond self-iso­la­tion fears mount

The In­de­pen­dent, Great Bri­tain (United King­dom), 19 Septem­ber 2020, https://www.press­reader.com/ar­ti­cle/2816081278­61207

COVID-19 News - - Front Page -

Coron­avirus cases in the UK con­tin­ued to surge yes­ter­day, as new lo­cal lock­downs were an­nounced across the coun­try.

Coron­avirus cases in the UK con­tin­ued to surge yes­ter­day, as new lo­cal lock­downs were an­nounced across the coun­try.

A fur­ther 4,322 con­firmed cases of Covid-19 were re­ported – the high­est daily fig­ure since May – bring­ing the to­tal num­ber above 385,000.

New daily cases con­sis­tently reached above 3,000 this week, hav­ing fallen to around 500 in July. At its peak in April, the UK was record­ing around 5,000 cases per day.

Out­breaks in ar­eas in Eng­land, Scot­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land have fu­elled the lat­est spike in Covid-19 cases, prompt­ing the gov­ern­ment to rein­tro­duce con­tain­ment mea­sures for nearly 13.5 mil­lion peo­ple through­out the coun­try.

The lat­est gov­ern­ment fig­ures re­veal that sev­eral other ar­eas around the coun­try are also see­ing an uptick in new cases, ac­cord­ing to The In­de­pen­dent’s anal­y­sis.

Ar­eas in the north of Eng­land have seen the high­est in­fec­tion rates over the last seven days, with Black­burn, War­ring­ton, Greater Manch­ester and Mersey­side all see­ing more than 100 new cases per 100,000 peo­ple.

Caer­philly and Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales also saw case num­bers rise above 100,

while Hal­ton, Tyne and Wear and Lan­cashire saw fig­ures in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly.

Health sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock said lo­cal re­stric­tions were part of the gov­ern­ment’s ap­proach of “tar­geted in­ter­ven­tions” but did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of another na­tion­wide lock­down. He said: “A na­tional lock­down is the last line of de­fence.”

The UK is one of sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­vere se­cond wave of the deadly virus, with both France and Spain ex­pe­ri­enc­ing new daily records in re­cent days.

While the UK was be­hind those coun­tries to see in­fec­tions ini­tially spread, its first wave turned out to be more se­ri­ous in terms of both cu­mu­la­tive case num­bers and deaths.

A sim­i­lar pat­tern ap­pears to be oc­cur­ring for the se­cond wave, with the UK once again be­hind France and Spain. If the UK mir­rors the trends of the other two coun­tries, the se­cond wave could be even greater than the first.

The Euro­pean head of the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, Dr Hans Kluge, warned on Thurs­day that many coun­tries were “go­ing into a wors­en­ing sit­u­a­tion” as a re­sult of strict lock­downs lift­ing and pub­lic re­sis­tance to face masks and other mea­sures needed to con­tain the pan­demic.

“At the mo­ment … we see a fa­tigue and re­sis­tance in the be­hav­iour that is help­ful in fight­ing the virus,” he said.

“In the spring and early sum­mer, we were able to see the im­pact of strict lock­down mea­sures. Our ef­forts, our sac­ri­fices paid off. In June, cases hit an all-time low. The Septem­ber case num­bers, how­ever, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us.”

New fig­ures are the high­est since May (The In­de­pen­dent)

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