'Northern towns hit by new lockdown never got first wave controlled'

Northern towns hit by new mini-lockdown never got first wave of coronavirus under control, experts warn amid fears of a ‘dangerous’ second spike

  • Infection rate in affected northern towns and cities has struggled to dip below 3
  • Data shows the average number of cases was higher than national average for the affected lockdown zone which includes parts Manchester and Yorkshire
  • Experts say infection never went away in those areas put into new lockdown 

Northern towns and cities hit by new lockdown restrictions never recovered from the first wave of coronavirus, experts have claimed.

Data, published by Public Health England, suggests the average rate of infections across the affected areas in northern England has been much higher than the rest of England.

While the national average peaked at 7.2 cases per 100,000 by late April, the northern lockdown zone reached an average 9.3 cases per day for every 100,000 people.

Data from Public Health England suggests northern lockdown zone never really recovered from first coronavirus wave as new restrictions are put in place to stem spike in cases

Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘The virus has always been there. It never went away.

‘We have been running at quite a significant level of community transmission.’

Data from Public Health England shows the infection rate in the areas affected by the new lockdown restrictions has rarely fallen below three per 100,000 while the national average dropped to beneath one per 100,000.

On Thursday, the Government announced new lockdown rules for millions of people living in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.

The rule dictate that members of different households may no longer meet each other inside their homes or gardens as well as public places such as pubs and restaurants.

However, people are still free to meet up in outdoor spaces such as beer gardens and parks.

Karol Sikora, professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham and former director of the World Health Organisation added: ‘There’s no second wave – this uptick is the lasting, localised ripples from the first wave.’

He suggested the struggle to tackle coronavirus in the new lockdown zone may be due to ‘higher levels of social deprivation, with people living in groups and not able to isolate, so it recycles around.’

The rate of infection is now above 40 per 100,000 in Oldham, Bradford and Trafford while it’s up to 37.1 in Calderdale and 32.9 in Manchester.

Boris Johnson warned that millions of over 50s could be given orders to stay home as part of the government’s efforts to avoid national lockdown as concerns grow over second wave

It comes as millions of overs 50s could be given orders to stay at home as part of Boris Johnson’s ‘nuclear plans’ to avoid another national lockdown.

The Prime Minister was forced to announce a slow down of the lockdown easing on Friday, with planned relaxations for the leisure and beauty sectors delayed after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Under the proposals, a greater number of people would be asked to take part in the shielding programme, based on their age or particular risk factors that have been identified since March, said the Telegraph.

It could even see those aged between 50 and 70 given ‘personalised risk ratings’, said the Times, in a move that would add to the 2.2 million who were deemed most vulnerable and asked to shield themselves from society during the spring peak.

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