Ministers should closely monitor the trend in hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 at the start of next week before reaching a final decision on how stringent regulations are after the lockdown is lifted in England.
While there are encouraging signs that the number of new coronavirus cases is declining across the UK, particularly in the former hotspots in northwest England, officials are concerned that the death rate is still high and that the spread of the disease is steady, he understands.
The spike in hospital admissions and deaths during November were always « capped » by numbers, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said last month, due to increased social activity before the lockdown in England on November 5..
Due to the two-week time lag between injury and serious illness or death, government insiders expect death rates to rise over the weekend or in the first part of the next week..
But if there are no indications of a significant impact from the lockdown measures, it is expected that the most pessimistic ministers – who have been calling for tighter restrictions from September – will press for the continuation of the quasi-lockdown in all but the least affected areas.
That could mean putting more areas in England under the restrictions of Level III – the highest – after the lockdown ends on December 2. Official figures showed infection rates were stable in England and Scotland and decreased in Wales and Northern Ireland.
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Boris Johnson’s ministers and officials are closely following Welles’s experience, as a circuit breaker was imposed for two and a half weeks last month and ended on November 9.. In Wales, infection rates are currently 1 in 165, compared to 1 in 80 in England.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were « promising signs » with cases resolving since the lockdown began, but cautioned, « There is clearly still more. ».
He told Radio 4’s Today program: « I describe it as a flattening, not a fall because one swallowing does not make summer, but there are promising signs that the lockdown is working to control the number of cases. ».
Stephen Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, said data over the next week or two will be crucial in showing whether England’s lockdown has any effect..
Professor Riley added that this shutdown would have less economic impact because it is less stringent than before, which could make the call for repeat measures more palatable..
Coronavirus, Lockdown, England, infection rate
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