Students deal with mass testing as tier 3 Covid steps loom in London

Kids to be evaluated at schools throughout Kent, Essex and the capital as Covid rates increase

Thousands of children will be checked for coronavirus in schools across Kent, Essex and London in an effort to stem rising infection rates that could result in the capital being put under tier 3 constraints.

Public Health England (PHE) authorities have advised the government to move London to the strictest procedures when the tiers are reassessed on 16 December unless the information shifts substantially.

In a briefing with ministers on Thursday night, London MPs were told to expect the worst, as the most current weekly security survey by PHE exposed that the capital now had the highest rate of coronavirus infections in England.

While cases have plateaued in the remainder of the nation, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, stated the rise in cases in Kent, Essex and some parts of London showed that the “battle is not over and we need to […] stay on our guard now and through Christmas”.

Leading the Downing Street everyday rundown, Hancock stated tests data showed that cases were rising fastest among secondary school children, aged 11 to18. The rate amongst grownups in London was “broadly flat”, but the increase in young people was most likely to be replicated in other age groups and required immediate targeted action, he stated.

A variety of Conservative MPs are expected to lobby ministers to keep the capital in tier 2, considered that mortality rates remain reasonably low and the London NHS is handling admissions fairly well. “Public Health England wanted this to take place 2 weeks ago and are determined now, but a lot of people will wish to see more difficult evidence,” one MP stated.

Another MP described the data as “awful” and stated they believed a change was inescapable. “We are heading to tier 3 for sure,” the MP stated.

On Thursday the UK taped 20,964 more coronavirus cases, up 4,386 on the previous day– the greatest everyday rise because mid-November. Another 516 deaths were reported in 24 hours, slightly down on the 533 deaths verified the day in the past.

The rate of infection has actually fallen in main and north-east England, locations that have been put in tier 3. The West Midlands had the steepest fall in cases, dropping to 158.4 per 100,000 people, below 196.8 the previous week.

In eastern England the rate increased from 116.2 to 147.2, and in the south-east it increased from 142.2 to 160.8. All other areas of England recorded week-on-week falls. South-west England had the most affordable rate at 77.3, down from 91.2.

Three-quarters of the capital’s districts (24 of 32) recorded an increase in coronavirus cases in the week to 4 December,, and the capital had the greatest average infection rate in the country, at 191.8 per 100,000 individuals for the week of 30 November to 6 December, according PHE figures, up from 158.1 per 100,00 in the previous week.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: “We can’t reduce our guard now– we have actually worked too difficult for too long to let this virus threaten individuals we enjoy. With Christmas just around the corner, we must all concentrate on following the guidelines.”

Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, told an interview that coronavirus rates in his city continued to fall and it was seeing a considerable decrease in crucial care bed occupancy.

Greater Manchester had 160.1 cases per 100,000 individuals since 4 December, compared to 194.1 on 27 November.

” We’re not saying that hospitals are out of the woods, however definitely the pressure they saw 3 weeks earlier is most definitely not in the system anymore,” he said.

The Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, stated it was clear that the region had a case to move into tier 2. “We will be making that case to federal governments over the next couple of days,” he stated.

More than 62,000 individuals in Britain have passed away as a result of coronavirus, the highest death toll in Europe.

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