The UK recorded 14,162 more coronavirus cases today, with the number of people testing positive for the disease each day doubling in 14 days.
Last Tuesday data, typically used to measure how much the UK outbreak has increased over the past week, is unreliable due to a catastrophic counting error at Public Health England. This means that Wednesday September 23rd is the most recent point of reference – at that point there were only 6,178 cases.
Another 70 coronavirus deaths have been announced by health chiefs, bringing the country's total death toll to 42,515. That was a very slight decrease last Wednesday when 71 deaths were recorded. Death numbers were not affected by the counting error, so last week's numbers can still be used as a reference.
Another 14,542 more cases were recorded yesterday, triple the number of people who tested positive that day two weeks ago. The 7-day rolling average of daily infections, considered a more accurate measure because it takes into account daily fluctuations, has also increased over the same period.
Hospital stays have also increased after 508 people with coronavirus were admitted to hospitals across the country today. According to health officials, 410 people with the virus were on ventilation beds.
Although the curves are clearly trending in the wrong direction, the number of deaths and infections with Covid-19 is still a long way from the levels seen on the darkest days of the pandemic in the spring, when more than 1,000 patients died and at least 100,000 British people caught the disease every day.
The spiral falls amid growing fears that Britain might face new lockdown measures – after Nicola Sturgeon announced that pubs, bars and restaurants in five Scottish regions will be limited to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 16 days and can only be serving They have food and soft drinks inside.
The restrictions, which come into effect on Friday, affect Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley.
The First Minister's decisive move could lead Boris Johnson to impose further restrictions on the country after faced Labor today over numbers showing local lockdown measures failed to stem the tide of infections in the north of England.
Experts today have blamed a number of factors for the failure, including more "residual infections" from the initial lockdown, large student populations, disadvantaged residents more exposed to the virus, and cooler weather.
There are growing fears that the UK could face new draconian restrictions in a matter of days if a local “Covid Alert System” is planned, which would force pubs and bars to pull down their shutters when cases exceed a certain threshold.
As the number of deaths from coronavirus continues to rise:
- The guides from four Covid-affected cities in the north, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle, have written to Mr Johnson asking him not to ride up the coronavirus curbs again
- Heathrow bosses are preparing to test the world's first coronavirus passport to get passengers back in the air without the risk of quarantine.
- According to reports, Scotland could announce pub closings today to stop the virus from spreading in its tracks.
- NHS laboratories say they could run out of Covid-19 test materials within days after Swiss supplier Roche warned of a "very significant drop" in processing capacity at its center in Newhaven, Sussex.
Nicola Sturgeon limits the opening times of pubs, bars and restaurants to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nicola Sturgeon warned that coronavirus cases have increased among the older generation today as she banned pubs and restaurants from serving alcohol in Scotland for at least 16 days from Friday.
The First Minister told Holyrood MSPs the situation was "better than March" but admitted she needed to take a "step backwards" when she unveiled a dramatic "breaker" pressure that began with mid-school hours north of the Border coincided.
In addition to the ban on alcohol consumption, restaurants are only open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In five “hotspot” areas, pubs will be closed until October 26th and people are advised not to use public transport.
Ms. Sturgeon said if it were a "purely one-dimensional public health decision" there would be an even tougher lockdown, but she was considering the general economy and wellbeing.
The extraordinary move – which Ms. Sturgeon said would come with new compensation for affected companies – comes after Scotland reported more than 1,000 new infections in one day.
It will put pressure on Boris Johnson, who was faced with damn numbers this afternoon showing local restrictions in England are failing to contain the cases. Ministers and advisers in war consider what to do next.
Coronavirus deaths across the UK have continued to rise since mid-September. On Monday, the average number of daily deaths rose 46 percent to 53 per day, the highest number since late June.
Health bosses have also reported an increase in cases, with the UK recording an additional 14,542 new infections yesterday as tightened restrictions in the Northwest and Northeast try to curb the surge in infections.
Coronavirus hospital admissions in England have also increased. 478 new admissions were reported on Sunday as the weekly moving average rose 34 percent. The number of people needing a ventilator rose to 393 on Monday, a 40 percent increase in the moving average.
As infections continue to rise across the UK, Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce stricter lockdown restrictions in Scotland, which could lead the Prime Minister to put more restrictions in place across the UK.
The First Minister used a statement to Holyrood to reveal a dramatic "breaker" pressure that coincides with mid-school hours north of the border.
The Prime Minister was faced with damn statistics this afternoon showing tightened local restrictions failed to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the north of England, while ministers and advisers face growing questions about what action they will take next.
At a stormy PMQ meeting, Mr Johnson stressed that the effects of the spike were being felt worst in the north, saying that the government's mix of tough local lockdowns and national restrictions like the rule of six and the 10 p.m. pubs curfew is the is correct.
Support for "differentiated" action in England suggests that the Prime Minister is still resisting pressure from academics for blanket action – an obvious boost for Cabinet Ministers alarmed by the threat to millions of jobs and civil liberties .
But union leader Keir Starmer launched a furious attack on Mr Johnson in the House of Commons, saying 19 out of 20 areas exposed to local curbs in the past two months had actually seen an increase in infections. He insisted that the measures "do not work" and highlighted the controversial curfew at 10 pm for pubs, according to which the government had not provided a "scientific basis".
As chaotic fighting threatened to engulf the government, allies of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen as the leading "hawk" on the need to protect the economy, today denied allegations that he tried to deter Michael Gove from making decisions on which areas he succumbs the most draconian restrictions. The argument is believed to hold back the announcement of a new three-tier traffic light system designed to clear up confusion about which rules apply where in England.
On bruising Sir Keir, Mr Johnson appeared to rule out the possibility of an impending national crackdown.
"Although cases in the country have increased significantly this week across the country from last week, 7-day statistics show that there are now 497 cases per 100,000 in Liverpool, 522 cases per 100,000 in Manchester and 422 in Newcastle" , he said .
"The key point is that the local regional approach combined with the national approach remains correct, as two-thirds of those hospitalized on Sunday were in the North West, North East and Yorkshire."
But Sir Keir sparked a rant, pointing out that the government's local lockdown is clearly "not working".
& # 39; On nursing homes, protective gear, exams, tests. The prime minister ignores the warning signs, speeds towards a car accident, then looks in the rearview mirror and says, "What's this about?" he said.
"It's literally government in hindsight."
Sir Keir added, "All the Prime Minister has to say is that it is too early to say if restrictions are working, but it is obvious that something has gone wrong here. What is the Prime Minister going to do about it?" "
The Labor leader pointed out that there were currently 62 cases per 100,000 in Mr Johnson's local authority, Hillingdon, with no local restrictions.
'But restrictions were imposed in 20 local areas across England when infection rates were much lower. In Kirklees it was only 29 per 100,000, ”he said.
Concerns about the lack of Covid and cancer tests after the warehouse failed
Concerns about the supply of vital test materials for a range of conditions, including Covid-19, emerged following a supply chain issue with pharmaceutical giant Roche.
On Tuesday, Roche announced that processing capacity had "dropped dramatically" due to a problem with the Sussex distribution center in Newhaven, the only one in the UK.
The shortage has been reported to include vital reagents, screening kits, and swabs.
In addition to providing these chemicals and parts used in Covid-19 tests, Roche also offers materials for a variety of procedures, including blood and urine tests, and for treating diabetics.
It comes days after the government confirmed that a technical glitch caused 16,000 positive test results to be missed. Contract tracers have tracked thousands of contacts who have had to self-isolate.
The government is facing increasing pressure to increase coronavirus testing capacity as cases continue to rise. 14,542 new cases were registered yesterday. This means that the number of people who test positive for Covid-19 every day tripled within 14 days.
“The local communities, Prime Ministers, really don't understand these differences. Can he please explain it to you? & # 39;
Mr Johnson replied, “I wish I could pretend everything was going to be rosy in the Midlands or in London, which is unfortunately also where infections are increasing.
"So we need a concerted national effort, we need to follow the directions, we need hands, face, space, a test if you have symptoms and follow the rule of six."
Sir Keir insisted that he support the government's rule of six.
But he took on a completely different tone as to whether Labor would support the 10 p.m. bar and restaurant curfew in England, which does more harm than good to critics as night owls only take to the streets.
"The Prime Minister cannot explain why an area is restricted, he cannot explain what the various restrictions are, he cannot explain how restrictions end – it is getting ridiculous," said Sir Keir.
& # 39; Next week this House will vote on whether to approve the 10pm rule. The Prime Minister knows that there are differently ingrained views across the country. A question now screams: Is there a scientific basis for the 10pm rule? & # 39;
Mr Johnson replied, "The basis on which we set out the hospitality restriction was the basis on which he accepted it two weeks ago – that is, to reduce the spread of the virus, and that is our goal."
As cases continue to rise, Scotland is reportedly facing the prospect of even tighter restrictions across the country. Nicola Sturgeon is set to unveil dramatic pressure this afternoon that is expected to include swaying hospitality curbs and local travel.
The move she emphasized will not result in a full lockdown like it did in March after the First Minister received "very strong" advice on the need to respond to a surge in infections.
At her briefing yesterday, Ms. Sturgeon said the infections are gradually spreading from younger populations to older age groups. The average number of daily cases has risen to 729 from 285 two weeks ago – when a ban on indoor mixing was introduced.
The First Minister has described the situation as "the most difficult decision point we have ever faced".
School closings and travel restrictions across Scotland have been ruled out.
It will not require people to stay in their homes most of the time, as it did in March, although some additional action may be required in “hotspot” areas.
During the daily coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said she was giving "very strong" public health advice that new measures were needed in response to rising Covid-19 cases.
Ms. Sturgeon added: "The situation is not out of control, but it is of increasing concern."