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Coronavirus: Herd immunity anti-lockdown petition reaches 30,000 signatures


Scientists from the world's leading universities have written an open letter calling on the UK and US to strengthen herd immunity to Covid-19 by letting it spread to young people.

The anti-lockdown petition warns that strict social distancing rules have "harmful effects on physical and mental health."

The petition was signed by at least 46,000 members of the public, 2,000 medical professionals and public health scientists, and around 2,200 medical practitioners.

They argue that most of the population is not at risk of dying if they catch Covid-19, and efforts should be focused on protecting the vulnerable while everyone else can go on living normally.

The letter, dubbed the Great Barrington Declaration after the Massachusetts city where it was written, is a rallying call for top scientists and politicians to stop fleeing and accept the coronavirus.

"Those who are not at risk should be able to live normally again immediately," say the scientists, adding: "If these (blocking) measures are in place until a vaccine is available, it will lead to irreparable damage, whereby the underprivileged people are disproportionately harmed. "

Scientists from the world's leading universities have written an open letter calling on the UK and US to strengthen herd immunity to Covid-19 by letting it spread to young people

In other coronavirus developments:

  • Universities began to cancel classroom teaching altogether as they stepped up their efforts to curb rising infection rates on campus.
  • The leaders of four northern cities wrote to Secretary of Health Matt Hancock warned they were "extremely concerned about the surge" in the cases;
  • However, they said they did not want any draconian new measures and asked him to give regional leaders powers over restrictions.
  • Numbers suggest that college-town outbreaks were largely student-driven;
  • According to reports, Mr. Sunak drafted plans for the Treasury Department to assist businesses hardest hit by new local lockdowns.
  • Nicola Sturgeon is likely to announce circuit breaker style restrictions today, though he denies Scotland is headed for another full lockdown.
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists warned of a mental health crisis triggered by the pandemic.
  • Industry leaders warned pubs, restaurants and other hotel businesses are poised to cut more than half a million jobs.
  • Almost every fifth public secondary school in England failed to fully open its doors last week due to the coronavirus.

One of the three authors is Oxford University Professor Dr. Sunetra Gupta, now known for her controversial views on herd immunity.

She wrote the statement with Dr. Martin Kulldorff from Harvard University and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya from Stanford. It has already been signed by 1,500 scientists, 1,700 medical professionals and 26,000 members of the public.

However, the petition met with concern – one scientist pointed out that problems other than death, such as: B. "Long Covid" are not taken into account and that the fact is overlooked that there is no evidence that herd immunity is even possible.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease expert at Oxford University, is now best known for her controversial views in favor of trying to develop immunity in the Covid-19 herd

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, an infectious disease expert at Oxford University, is now best known for her controversial views in favor of trying to develop immunity in the Covid-19 herd

It came the same day that figures showed the number of Britons hospitalized with coronavirus had increased 25 percent in just 24 hours.

Figures show the UK has recorded 14,542 more infections – more than three times the number two weeks ago.

In another blow to hopes that the virus will be brought under control, official NHS data shows there were 478 new hospital admissions in England on Sunday – the latest daily numbers are in.

This is an increase of 25 percent compared to the data on Saturday, when 386 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized.

It's also a four-month high, unseen since June 3rd when the number was 491.

Data also shows that the number of people using ventilators rose from 259 a week ago to 349 on Sunday.

The rising numbers have raised concerns that the UK could be headed for another set of lockdown-style restrictions.

A Whitehall source said stricter measures could be in place in parts of the north before the end of the week. Officials have also refused to rule out further national measures.

In the Great Barrington Declaration, the scientists write: “Current lockdown policies have devastating effects on both short and long-term public health.

The UK has registered 14,542 more coronavirus cases as the number of people who test positive for the virus each day triples in 14 days

The UK has registered 14,542 more coronavirus cases as the number of people who test positive for the virus each day triples in 14 days

Another 76 deaths were recorded on Tuesday, more than double the casualty reported in 35 deaths last Tuesday

Another 76 deaths were recorded on Tuesday, more than double the casualty reported in 35 deaths last Tuesday

"The results (to name a few) include lower vaccination rates in children, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and worsening mental health – resulting in higher excess mortality rates among the working class and younger in the years to come Members of society. " bear the heaviest burden.

WHO DRAWN UP THE GREAT BARRINGTON STATEMENT?

The statement was made by Dr. Martin Kulldorff (Harvard University), Dr. Sunetra Gupta (Oxford) and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford).

It has since been signed by 1,500 scientists, 1,700 medical professionals, and 26,000 members of the public.

The co-signatories who added their names to the report prior to its publication were:

  • Professor Sucharit Bhakdi (University of Mainz)
  • Dr. Rajiv Bhatia (doctor, USA)
  • Professor Stephen Bremner (University of Sussex)
  • Professor Anthony J Brookes (University of Leicester)
  • Dr. Helen Colhoun (University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor Angus Dalgleish (St. George & # 39; s, University of London)
  • Dr. Sylvia Fogel (Harvard)
  • Dr. Eitan Friedman (Tel Aviv University)
  • Dr. Uri Gavish (Biomedical Advisor)
  • Professor Motti Gerlic (Tel Aviv University)
  • Dr. Gabriela Gomes (University of Strathclyde)
  • Professor Mike Hulme (University of Cambridge)
  • Dr. Michael Jackson (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
  • Dr. David Katz (Yale University)
  • Dr. Andrius Kavaliunas (Karolinska Institute)
  • Dr. Laura Lazzeroni (Stanford)
  • Dr. Michael Levitt (Stanford)
  • Professor David Livermore (University of East Anglia)
  • Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson (Örebro University Hospital, Sweden)
  • Dr. Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh)
  • Dr. Cody Meissner (Tufts University)
  • Professor Ariel Munitz (Tel Aviv University)
  • Professor Yaz Gulnur Muradoglu (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Professor Partha P. Majumder (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata)
  • Professor Udi Qimron (Tel Aviv University)
  • Professor Matthew Ratcliffe (University of York)
  • Dr. Mario Recker (University of Exeter)
  • Dr. Eyal Shahar (University of Arizona)
  • Professor Karol Sikora (Rutherford Health)
  • Dr. Rodney Sturdivant (Baylor University)
  • Dr. Simon Thornley (University of Auckland)
  • Professor Ellen Townsend (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Lisa White (Oxford University)
  • Professor Simon Wood (University of Edinburgh)

“Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

"If these measures are followed until a vaccine is available, the damage will be irreparable, with disproportionate harm to the disadvantaged."

They say the elderly are 1,000 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than children, which means the two groups shouldn't be subject to the same rules.

"Focused prevention" could protect those in need – by using nursing home staff who are already infected with the virus, for example by delivering groceries to the elderly so they don't have to shop, or by bringing families to meet outdoors instead of indoors.

Normal hygiene rules like regular hand washing and self-isolation for sick people should continue, but life for young, healthy people could go on, they said.

"Those who are not vulnerable should be allowed to return to normal immediately," wrote Dr. Gupta and colleagues.

“Schools and universities should be open to personal teaching. Extracurricular activities such as sports should be resumed.

“Young, low-risk adults should work normally and not from home. Restaurants and other shops should open.

“Art, music, sports and other cultural activities should be resumed. People at higher risk can participate if they so choose, while society as a whole enjoys the protection that those who have established herd immunity give the vulnerable. "

The Declaration's focus on herd immunity is not being reached with open arms by all.

Scientists still cannot prove whether people develop immunity to Covid-19 after the first catch.

If people are found to contract the disease twice or more regularly, it may mean the concept of herd immunity is being turned upside down. There have been sporadic reports of reinfection from around the world, but the circumstances under which this is possible are unclear.

For many of the people who allegedly got it twice, scientists suspect that their original illness never resolved or that their test results were wrong somewhere on the line.

Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock remain convinced that restricting social interaction is still the best policy and insist that Covid must not "rip" through society.

However, given the harm to the economy and health, they are under increasing pressure to reconsider this.

The government's own modeling assumes that 74,000 people will die of non-covidic causes due to the lockdown imposed in March.

A critic of the petition, University of Kent virologist Professor Ross Rossman, said: “This statement ignores three critical aspects that could have a significant impact on health and life.

“First, we still don't know whether herd immunity can be achieved. Herd immunity is based on permanent immunological protection against re-infection with the coronavirus.

However, we have heard many cases of re-infection lately, and some research suggests that protective antibody responses can subside quickly.

Second, the statement only focuses on the risk of death from Covid-19, but ignores Long-Covid's growing awareness that many healthy young adults with "mild" Covid-19 infections have protracted symptoms and long-term disabilities.

WHAT IS HERD IMMUNITY AND WILL WE GET IT FOR COVID-19?

Herd immunity occurs when a disease runs out of space and can no longer spread because a large part of the population has been exposed to the disease, either because it already has it or has been vaccinated.

If no one is immune to a disease – as was the case when the pandemic began – it can spread like wildfire. For example, if half the people have developed immunity, then there are only half as many people to whom the disease can spread.

As more and more people become immune, it becomes more and more difficult for the pathogen to spread until its victim pool becomes so small that it can no longer spread at all.

The herd immunity threshold is different for different diseases, depending on how contagious they are. With measles, around 95 percent of people need to be vaccinated against the spread. For polio, which is less contagious, the threshold is around 80 to 85 percent.

However, since there is no vaccine against Covid-19, it means actively combating herd immunity through natural exposure is controversial as tens of thousands of people would die.

Government advisors previously said that around 60 percent of the UK would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity – around 40 million people. In theory, however, that would mean around 240,000 British people would die, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus kills an estimated 0.6 percent of all infected people.

And scientists still don't have solid evidence of how long immunity actually lasts after a person battles Covid-19, and doctors around the world have warned of re-infections – although the evidence suggests it is less severe.

Some research has found that the herd immunity threshold could actually be as low as 10 percent if it spreads more widely among the most socially active. This is because they are in more regular contact with others and are therefore more likely to spread the disease.

Herd immunity without a vaccine is seen as a controversial way to overcome the pandemic, as it encourages the spread of the virus rather than containing it.

No. 10 was even forced to withhold herd immunity after Boris Johnson's chief assistant Dominic Cummings reportedly confirmed the plan back in February at a private event. He allegedly said it was "a shame" if it meant "some retirees are dying".

And leaked emails released last month showed that both Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty had faced backlash from scientists over the controversial "herd immunity" approach, which was further discussed in March.

Unlike most European countries, Sweden never imposed a lockdown, opening schools to children under 16, cafes, bars, restaurants and most shops when the disease hit Europe in February.

Researchers have even suggested that the Scandinavian nation has since built up some level of immunity to the virus, with one scientist claiming that the virus may run out of steam in Sweden.

However, data compiled by Our World In Data – a website that has been tracking the pandemic since it began – suggests that cases have increased again in recent weeks. For example, the seven-day average of daily infections in Sweden on October 1 was 560 versus 250 in early September.

Third, countries like Sweden, which have waived lockdown restrictions in favor of personal responsibility and targeted protection of the elderly, have not been able to successfully protect vulnerable populations.

"While there is clearly a need to support and alleviate the physical and mental stresses which many suffer, the proposed explanation is unlikely to be successful and endanger the long-term health of many."

Professor James Naismith, an Oxford University biologist, said he "read it with interest" but would not sign the statement.

He stated, “We don't yet know how long immunity will last, so achieving herd immunity may not be easy. We don't have herd immunity to the common cold, although many of us have one or more every year.

& # 39; It would have helped if the leading scientists who signed this declaration had estimated the reachability of herd immunity with different decays of the immune response.

"It does not specify the desired range for herd immunity or how far we are from it. Therefore, no estimate is made of the number of deaths or life-changing complications that result in a lower vulnerability group."

“These numbers are much lower than for older people, but not zero. I suspect the public would like to know. & # 39;

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK. 14,542 new cases were registered on Tuesday. This means that the number of people who test positive for Covid-19 every day has tripled within 14 days.

Last Tuesday's data, which typically measures how much the UK outbreak has grown over the past week, is unreliable due to a catastrophic counting error at Public Health England. This means that September 22nd is the most recent point of reference – at that point there were only 4,926 cases.

The extraordinary breakdown – caused by an Excel problem in outdated software at PHE – resulted in nearly 16,000 cases disappearing between September 25 and October 2, meaning the scale of the escalating crisis was grossly underestimated last week .

Health chiefs recorded 12,594 coronavirus cases yesterday, also three times the 4,368 number recorded a fortnight earlier. The 7-day rolling average of daily infections – considered a more accurate measure as it takes into account daily fluctuations – also increased by a similar amount over the same period.

Another 76 coronavirus deaths were recorded on Tuesday, a 7 percent increase from the 71 deaths last week and more than twice as many casualties as the previous Tuesday when there were 35. The data also show the rolling average number of daily deaths for seven days is 53, after a record low of seven in mid-August.

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 spring, when more than 1,000 patients died and at least 100,000 British people caught the disease every day

The spiraling statistics stem from fears that the UK could face draconian new lockdown measures within a few days as a local “Covid Alert System” is planned.

Matt Hancock is expected to provide details of the three-tier setup as early as Thursday to help better understand the existing patchwork of restrictions.

Government sources said the top tier would include stricter restrictions than those currently on the millions of people living in the north and the Midlands. A planned traffic light system is being redesigned after PHE's Excel bug reveals that the virus has spread much faster than previously thought in cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. Ministers will meet in the coming days to see how far they should go.

Cities like Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham appear to face tighter restrictions as Boris Johnson tries to get a grip on local flare-ups. Options include closing pubs, restaurants, and movie theaters, banning social mixing outside of household groups, and restricting overnight stays. Sources declined to rule out the possibility that some cities could be immediately placed in the top tier, although death rates remain low.

Great Barrington's 30,000-signature statement is complete

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have serious concerns about the harmful effects of current Covid-19 guidelines on physical and mental health and recommend what we call focused protection.

“We come from both left and right and from all over the world and have dedicated our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies have devastating effects on both short and long-term public health. Findings (to name a few) include lower vaccination rates in children, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and worsening mental health – leading to higher excess mortality rates in the years to come, with the working class and younger members of society bear the greatest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

“If these measures are followed until a vaccine is available, this can lead to irreparable damage, with disproportionately harm to the disadvantaged.

& # 39; Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that old and frail people are more than a thousand times more susceptible to death from Covid-19 than young people. In fact, Covid-19 is less dangerous to children than many other harms, including influenza.

“As immunity increases in the population, the risk of infection decreases for everyone, including those in need of protection. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. H. The point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be supported (but not dependent on) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we achieve herd immunity.

"The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of herd immunity is to allow those who have minimal risk of death to live normal lives in order to build immunity to the virus through natural infections while protecting those who do are in such a state. " highest risk. We call this focused protection.

“Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central objective of the public health response to Covid-19. For example, nursing homes should employ staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR tests on other staff and all visitors. The rotation of the staff should be minimized. Retirees living at home should have groceries and other essentials brought to their homes. If possible, meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of interventions, including approaches for multi-generational households, can be implemented and is within the scope and ability of health professionals.

“Those who are not vulnerable should be allowed to live normally again immediately. Simple hygiene practices such as hand washing and staying at home when sick should be practiced by everyone to lower the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open to personal teaching. Extracurricular activities such as sports should be resumed. Young, low-risk adults should work normally and not from home.

& # 39; Restaurants and other shops should open. Art, music, sports and other cultural activities should be resumed. People at higher risk can participate if they so choose, while society as a whole enjoys the protection that those who have established herd immunity give the vulnerable. "

MPs support the six-in-commons rule with just 17 politicians speaking out against it despite widespread Tory anger over the coronavirus law. They fear that they "do more harm than good".

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent, and Harry Howard and James Tapsfield, Political Editor for Mailonline

MPs overwhelmingly backed the controversial rule of six in a vote today – but Boris Johnson had no doubt about the anger on the Tory back benches.

The The Covid-19 regulations that enforce the rules of gatherings in England were passed in Westminster by 287 votes to 17 – a majority of 270.

The rules are already in place and the motion only provides an ex post vote on them.

But a number of Tories said they would abstain rather than support, and used the debate beforehand to attack government ministers over the scope of the rules.

Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister, said he had "real concerns" about the "appalling" cost of the measures.

Huw Merriman MP, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, said he feared the measures would "do more harm than good".

However, there was little prospect that the measures would fail the Commons vote after Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer told reporters on Tuesday that his party would support the measures.

Scroll down for video.

MPs overwhelmingly backed the controversial rule of six in a vote today - but Boris Johnson had no doubt about the anger on the Tory back benches. Pictured: Students ignore the rule of six when spending an evening in Leeds in September

MPs overwhelmingly backed the controversial rule of six in a Commons vote tonight – but Boris Johnson had no doubt about the anger on the Tory back benches. Pictured: Students ignore the rule of six when spending an evening in Leeds in September

The Covid-19 regulations that enforce the rules of gatherings in England were passed in Westminster by 287 votes to 17 - a majority of 270

The Covid-19 regulations that enforce the rules of gatherings in England were passed in Westminster by 287 votes to 17 – a majority of 270

Presenting his opposition to the vote, Mr Baker said: “I have real concerns about the very high cost of these measures.

"(It's an) absolutely appalling set of costs that people bear, and the anecdotes that (will) now increasingly suggest poor compliance actually seem to create a gap between their intentions to comply and what they actually do to have."

He added, “It is not now clear that the benefits outweigh the costs of the lockdown. We have to ask ourselves whether these circumstances are really what we want.

“We hear from people who are destroyed by this lockdown, strong, confident people, open-minded people, sociable people who are destroyed and reduced to repeated tears on the phone.

"This is a devastating social impact on our society, and I believe that people would make different choices if they could take responsibility for themselves."

Last week Boris Johnson hinted that the rule of six could be suspended on Christmas Day to ensure a family of five can invite both grandparents out for festive lunches.

He had stressed that the government would "do everything possible to ensure that Christmas is as normal as possible for everyone".

In late September, a desperate Prime Minister called on the British to "save Christmas" by following his rule of six.

Despite the vocal opposition from some sides, the rule of six was passed with ease

Despite the vocal opposition from some sides, the rule of six was passed with ease

Steve Baker, a former Brexit minister, said: "I have real concerns about the very high cost of these measures."

Steve Baker, ein ehemaliger Brexit-Minister, sagte: "Ich habe echte Bedenken hinsichtlich der sehr hohen Kosten dieser Maßnahmen."

In der Debatte am Dienstag schlossen sich Herrn Baker jedoch andere Tory-Abgeordnete an, die sich vollständig gegen die Maßnahme aussprachen.

Der Abgeordnete von Bexhill Tory, Huw Merriman, sagte: „Jetzt suche ich nach diesen Beweisen, aber ich sehe sie immer noch nicht.

Die Wahrheit über Englands zweite Welle von Covid-19: Krankenhausaufenthalte machen 6% der Spitzenwerte im Süden, aber 30% im Norden aus

The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has decreased in much of England as data suggests the country is panicking from a runaway outbreak in the north.

In London, the Southeast and the Southwest – where roughly half of the country's 55 million residents live – daily admissions appear to be increasing after rising from a summer low in September, in line with cases.

However, approvals in the North West, North East and Yorkshire are still on the rise, where new local bans occur every week and positive tests result in record numbers. But with talk of a second national lockdown growing in winter, the numbers suggest that the south walls are being grouped according to rules they don't need.

In the Midlands and East of England the picture is more complex – in the Midlands hospital stays rose dramatically in September, but there are signs that they have now peaked while admissions in the East still seem to be slowly increasing when also at a significantly lower level than in the northern regions.

Die Zahl der Krankenhausinsassen in den am schlimmsten betroffenen Gebieten hat fast ein Drittel der Zahl erreicht, die sie während des Höhepunkts der Krise im April hatten, während sie im Süden des Landes mit rund sechs Prozent immer noch viel niedriger sind.

Im Nordwesten werden derzeit durchschnittlich 107 Personen täglich mit Coronavirus ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert, im Nordosten 94 pro Tag. Beide Zahlen sind die höchsten seit Mai und zeigen keine Anzeichen einer Verlangsamung. Zum Vergleich lagen die Spitzenwerte für jede Region bei etwa 2.900 bzw. 2.600 pro Tag.

Auf der anderen Seite gibt es in London, wo Beamte Berichten zufolge über härtere Maßnahmen diskutieren, nur 34 Aufnahmen pro Tag – nach durchschnittlich 39 am 25. September und nur 4,5 Prozent des Niveaus, das auf dem Höhepunkt der Krise im April zu verzeichnen war. Und im Südwesten, der während der Pandemie am wenigsten betroffen war, werden täglich nur acht Menschen ins Krankenhaus eingeliefert – sechs Prozent der Höchstzahl.

Auf dieser Grundlage befürchte ich, dass ich nicht für die Sechserregel stimmen kann, weil ich einfach nicht glaube, dass sie verhältnismäßig ist und dass sie tatsächlich das tun wird, was die Regierung hofft, und ich hoffe und fürchte, dass dies der Fall sein wird tatsächlich mehr schaden als nützen. "

Die Minister stehen unter dem Druck der Tory-Abgeordneten, die Sechser-Regel und die Ausgangssperre um 22 Uhr in England abzuschaffen, da solche aufdringlichen Maßnahmen nicht durch die Beweise gerechtfertigt sind und die Wirtschaft schädigen.

Die Regierung war heute Abend auf einen möglichen Aufstand vorbereitet, aber der Labour-Führer Sir Keir Starmer sagte, seine Partei würde die Regierung unterstützen.

Er sagte den Medien: 'Wir werden die Regel von sechs unterstützen. Es gibt natürlich Argumente darüber, ob es sechs oder eine andere Zahl sein sollte. Ich denke, Klarheit und Einfachheit sind hier wirklich wichtig, und deshalb werden wir heute Abend die Regel von sechs unterstützen. & # 39;

Vor der Abstimmung fragte Sir Graham Brady, Vorsitzender des Komitees der Tory Backbenchers von 1922, ob die Regierung stattdessen eine „Acht-Regel“ in Betracht gezogen habe.

Während einer Commons-Debatte über Covid-19-Vorschriften sagte er: „Kann sie (Gesundheitsministerin Helen Whately) uns ihre Schätzung der Wirksamkeit der Sechs-Regel im Vergleich zu der Acht-Regel mitteilen, die stattdessen eingeführt worden war?

"Ist die Regel von sechs mehr oder weniger wirksam als ein Verbot der Haushaltsmischung?"

Er fügte hinzu: "Diese Regeln sind ein massiver Eingriff in die Freiheit und das Privatleben des gesamten britischen Volkes, und sie haben auch verheerende wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen, die zu großen Arbeitsplatzverlusten und einer Vielzahl von Geschäftsausfällen führen werden."

Und der frühere internationale Entwicklungsminister Sir Desmond Swayne zielte auf die Sechserregel und die mangelnde Rechtfertigung der Regierung ab und sagte den Commons: „Kann ich eine Regel von 10 vorschlagen, dann können wir sie an unseren Fingern zählen, das würde sei einfach genug, nicht wahr? & # 39;

Der Gesundheitsminister der Schatten, Justin Madders, fragte, was an Halloween passieren würde und fragte: „Es ist immer eine geschäftige Nacht für die Polizei, aber dieses Jahr werden sie die zusätzliche Last haben, Gruppen von Kindern aufzubrechen, wenn sie zu groß werden.

„Angesichts der Tatsache, dass diese Kinder wahrscheinlich den ganzen Tag mit denselben Kindern in der Schule in Gruppen verbracht haben, die weit größer als sechs sind, sage ich dem Beamten viel Glück, der versucht, ihnen zu erklären, warum ihre Eltern dafür eine Geldstrafe erhalten.

"Wenn das passieren wird, wäre ich dankbar, wenn der Minister dies bestätigen könnte. Ich denke, es muss eine sehr klare öffentliche Botschaft und Kampagne dazu geben – oder wird es eine Ausnahme geben?"

Die Debatte fand an einem Tag statt, an dem Großbritannien 14.542 weitere Coronavirus-Fälle verzeichnete, wobei sich die Zahl der Personen, die jeden Tag positiv auf die Krankheit getestet wurden, innerhalb von 14 Tagen verdreifacht hatte.

Die Daten vom letzten Dienstag, anhand derer normalerweise gemessen wird, wie stark der Ausbruch in Großbritannien in der letzten Woche zugenommen hat, sind aufgrund eines katastrophalen Zählfehlers bei Public Health England unzuverlässig. Dies bedeutet, dass der 22. September der jüngste Bezugspunkt ist – zu diesem Zeitpunkt gab es nur 4.926 Fälle.

Der außergewöhnliche Zusammenbruch – verursacht durch ein Excel-Problem in veralteter Software bei PHE – führte dazu, dass zwischen dem 25. September und dem 2. Oktober fast 16.000 Fälle verschwunden sind, was bedeutet, dass das Ausmaß der eskalierenden Krise letzte Woche stark unterschätzt wurde.

Die Gesundheitschefs verzeichneten am Montag 12.594 Coronavirus-Fälle, was ebenfalls dem Dreifachen der Zahl von 4.368 vor vierzehn Tagen entspricht.

Der rollierende 7-Tage-Durchschnitt der täglichen Infektionen – als genaueres Maß angesehen, da er die täglichen Schwankungen berücksichtigt – ist im gleichen Zeitraum ebenfalls um einen ähnlichen Betrag gestiegen.

In Schottland kündigte der erste Minister Nicola Sturgeon an, dass ab Freitag neue Beschränkungen in Kraft treten würden.

Aber Frau Sturgeon nutzte ihre tägliche Pressekonferenz, um zu sagen, dass die Maßnahmen, die bei Holyrood bekannt gegeben werden sollen, keine weitere vollständige Sperrung bedeuten würden.

Sie sagte, die neuen Maßnahmen würden keine Reisebeschränkungen für das ganze Land beinhalten – obwohl solche Einschränkungen manchmal in "Hotspot" -Bereichen notwendig sein könnten – und die Öffentlichkeit werde nicht gebeten, in ihren eigenen Häusern zu bleiben.

Bei der täglichen Besprechung in Edinburgh sagte sie, dass die Schulen nicht "ganz oder teilweise" geschlossen werden und die schottische Regierung nicht "die gesamte Wirtschaft schließen" oder "die Remobilisierung des NHS stoppen" wird.

"Wir schlagen derzeit keine weitere Sperrung vor", sagte Frau Sturgeon. "Nicht einmal vorübergehend."

Neil Ferguson – known as "Professor Lockdown" – warned this morning that in parts of England, pubs may have to be closed completely to keep schools open.

Der Covid-Modellierungsguru der Westminster-Regierung sagte, dass die zusätzlichen Fälle zur britischen Bilanz hinzugefügt wurden, nachdem ein Excel-Fehler ein "ernüchterndes" Bild des Ausbruchs gezeichnet hatte.

Letzte Woche deutete Boris Johnson an, dass die Sechserregel am Weihnachtstag ausgesetzt werden könnte, um sicherzustellen, dass eine fünfköpfige Familie beide Großeltern zum festlichen Mittagessen einladen kann

Last week, Boris Johnson hinted the Rule of Six could be suspended on Christmas Day to ensure a family of five can have both grandparents round for festive lunch

Pictured: House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle during Tuesday's debate

Pictured: House of Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle during Tuesday's debate

He said it was not clear that the government could contain the virus while keeping children in secondary schools – and suggested that the wider population will have to 'give up more' to maintain the education provision.

That could include shutting bars and restaurants altogether, as well as extending the October half-term for a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown to break transmission chains.

Asked if more restrictions are coming for Liverpool and Newcastle, the Prime minister's official spokesman said on Tuesday: 'We keep the data under constant review by looking at a wide range of data in terms of the number of positive cases per 100,000 people, also the number of hospitalisations, the number of people who are moved into intensive care units and also sadly the number of deaths.

'We have always set out that if there is a need to go further on a local basis then we won't hesitate to do what is required to protect the NHS and protect lives.'

An NHS source revealed last night to the The Sun they had been told another Scottish lockdown was coming.

They added, "We should expect it from 7pm on Friday." Figures released for the first time yesterday show that 43 percent of all cases in Scotland in the past week occurred in just two municipal areas – Glasgow and Edinburgh.

UK 'is heading for three-tier lockdown announcement THIS WEEK': PM prepares new system of regional rules with Liverpool and Newcastle on alert for tougher curbs as Nicola Sturgeon warns of 'localised restrictions' in Scotland from Friday

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent for MailOnline

Parts of England could face draconian new lockdown measures within days under plans for a local 'Covid alert' system.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to unveil details of the three-tier set-up as early as Thursday in an attempt to make the existing patchwork of restrictions easier to understand.

Government sources said the top tier would include stricter restrictions than those currently on the millions of people living in the north and the Midlands.

A planned 'traffic light' system of measures will be redesigned after data from thousands of 'missing' cases revealed that the virus was spreading much faster than previously thought in cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. Ministers will meet in the coming days to see how far they should go.

Cities including Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham seemingly at risk of harsher restrictions as Boris Johnson tries to get a grip on local flare-ups.

Options include the closure of pubs, restaurants and cinemas, a ban on social mixing outside household groups, and restrictions on overnight stays. Sources declined to rule out the possibility that some cities could be immediately placed in the top tier, although death rates remain low.

It came as Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions would be announced for Scotland tomorrow, to come into effect from Friday.

But the First Minister used her daily press conference to say the measures to be revealed at Holyrood would not amount to another full lockdown.

Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions would be announced for Scotland tomorrow, to come into effect from Friday, but they would not constitute a new lockdown

Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions would be announced for Scotland tomorrow, to come into effect from Friday, but they would not constitute a new lockdown

Cities including Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham seemingly at risk of harsher restrictions as Boris Johnson (pictured on Tuesday) tries to get a grip on local flare-ups

Cities including Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham seemingly at risk of harsher restrictions as Boris Johnson (pictured on Tuesday) tries to get a grip on local flare-ups

Coronavirus cases in Scotland have been rising sharply since the beginning of September

Coronavirus cases in Scotland have been rising sharply since the beginning of September

PM channels Maggie with Tory conference speech

Boris Johnson pleaded for Tories to keep faith in his instincts and handling of the coronavirus crisis on Tuesday, setting out a true blue vision for Britain after the disease is defeated.

The PM admitted 2020 'has not been the year we imagined' but insisted the devastating effects of the pandemic would not prevent the government pushing its 'levelling up' agenda after Brexit.

In an address to the 'virtual' Tory conference, Mr Johnson – deprived of his usual interaction with a live audience – said he was 'working for the day when life is back to normal', appealing for people not to let the gruelling lockdown 'get us down'.

Nodding to rising Conservative anger about infringement of civil liberties and lockdown strangling the economy, he said he 'deeply regretted' the restrictions the government was imposing – but he warned there was 'simply no reasonable alternative'.

Scrambling to reassure those questioning his Tory values, he promised to roll back the state as soon as possible, slamming the idea that the taxpayer could be 'Uncle Sugar' and keep funding every part of the economy, and praising entrepreneurs.

Mr Johnson also channeled the spirit of Thatcher's 1980s revolution by pledging to save the dream of home ownership for a new generation with 95 per cent mortgages.

And he lashed out at those calling for the country to paper over its colonial past, saying he was 'not embarrassed' to sing Rule Britannia.

He said returning to the same way of doing things would not be enough, and the government was determined to 'build back better'. It was 'in crises like this' that real change could be made, and he would seize the moment to do so.

The premier delivered an angry response to claims that he has 'lost his mojo' and not fully recovered from his own brush with coronavirus, offering to 'arm wrestle or leg wrestle' to prove them wrong.

She said the new measures will not include travel restrictions on the whole country – though such restrictions may sometimes be necessary in 'hotspot' areas – and the public will not be asked to stay in their own homes.

Speaking at the daily briefing in Edinburgh, she said schools will not be closed 'wholly or even partially', and the Scottish Government will not 'shut down the entire economy' or 'halt the remobilisation of the NHS'.

'We are not proposing another lockdown at this stage,' Ms Sturgeon said. 'Not even on a temporary basis.'

Neil Ferguson – known as 'Professor Lockdown' – warned this morning that pubs could have to shut altogether in parts of England to keep schools open.

The Westminster government's Covid modelling guru said the extra cases added to the UK's tally after an Excel blunder painted a 'sobering' picture of the outbreak.

He said it was not clear that the government could contain the virus while keeping children in secondary schools – and suggested that the wider population will have to 'give up more' to maintain the education provision.

That could include shutting bars and restaurants altogether, as well as extending the October half-term for a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown to break transmission chains.

However, the problems the PM would face in pushing through such restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs.

Asked if more restrictions are coming for Liverpool and Newcastle, the Prime minister's official spokesman said on Tuesday: 'We keep the data under constant review by looking at a wide range of data in terms of the number of positive cases per 100,000 people, also the number of hospitalisations, the number of people who are moved into intensive care units and also sadly the number of deaths.

'We have always set out that if there is a need to go further on a local basis then we won't hesitate to do what is required to protect the NHS and protect lives.'

An NHS source told The Sun last night that another Scottish lockdown was imminent.

They added, "We should expect it from 7pm on Friday."

Figures released for the first time yesterday show that 43 percent of all cases in Scotland in the past week occurred in just two municipal areas – Glasgow and Edinburgh.

It again sparked calls to Ms. Sturgeon to avoid draconian restrictions imposed on parts of the country with low virus rates.

However, a recent government report warned that another 100,000 jobs could be lost by the end of the year.

Tim Allan, of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: 'Talk of a further blanket lockdown is unacceptable to Scottish businesses.

'It would damage consumer and business confidence, which have already taken an unprecedented economic hit throughout this crisis.

Testing centres, like this one in Glasgow, have seen a steady stream of traffic going inside

Testing centres, like this one in Glasgow, have seen a steady stream of traffic going inside

Coronavirus social distancing measures seen being observed at a restaurant in Edinburgh

Coronavirus social distancing measures seen being observed at a restaurant in Edinburgh

Tightened rules in Scotland could be 'final act' for tourism

Scots tourism chiefs warned any further restrictions on businesses could be the 'final act' which would see them permanently closed.

Industry leaders said 'widespread' mass redundancies are inevitable as the furlough scheme winds down and any further action by Holyrood would exacerbate the problem.

The Scottish Tourism Alliance warned many businesses had already started to make decisions on job losses and closing down for the winter.

Chief executive Marc Crothall said new rules had already seen self-catering businesses suffer widespread cancellations, while many restaurants had seen their takings nearly cut in half due to the 10pm curfew.

Mr Crothall said: 'The direct impact of the recent new restrictions is seeing businesses accelerating decisions on having to let staff go.

'We are hearing stories of increasing numbers of losses coming sooner than many people had hoped.

'A circuit breaker will have a really big bearing on the sector.

'There's no evidence of any kind of targeted and tailored support package for the industry.

'Without that, it could well be the final act for many businesses.'

VisitScotland's chief executive, Malcolm Roughead, said it was clear the industry was 'struggling' to withstand the impact of new coronavirus restrictions imposed last month.

He said businesses were facing an uncertain future after a ban groups from more than one household from booking self-catering accommodation together.

'Returning to national lockdown measures will take our economy back to square one – we simply cannot continue to keep switching the lights of the economy on and off. It risks not just jobs but the wellbeing of entire communities.

'Instead, we should focus on using the evidence we have to target problem areas. The data the Scottish Government now has is sophisticated and detailed and will show in which environments and geographical areas the virus is spreading.

'We know the virus will be with us for a long time. We must learn to manage it so we can carry on with our lives and protect livelihoods while keeping the risk of transmission as low as possible.'

New data published by Public Health Scotland puts five councils in the 'red alert' category as they have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the past week: Glasgow, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire.

Out of Scotland's 32 council areas, 43.4 per cent of all cases were in only two, Glasgow and Edinburgh, between September 27 and October 3. In Glasgow, there were 1,224 cases – or 193 per 100,000 people – while in Edinburgh there were 750 cases, or 143 per 100,000.

There was not a single positive case in Orkney or Shetland. Moray had only five cases per 100,000, Aberdeenshire 14, Clackmannanshire 15, Perth and Kinross 20 and 26 in Angus.

Murdo Fraser, Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: 'I don't believe there needs to be general nationwide restrictions when you see figures like this.

'We saw a local lockdown in Aberdeen when there was a recent spiking of cases there. If, as has been suggested, we see more restrictions introduced in coming days, then I feel it is essential that they are targeted at specific problem areas, instead of right across the country.'

Asked yesterday if blanket measures will be introduced, Ms Sturgeon said that would be one of the 'key considerations'.

She added: 'If we feel there are further restrictions needed, are they needed nationwide or are they needed on a local or regional basis? We haven't taken a decision on that.

'Although we're seeing in West Central Scotland and in Lothian particularly high numbers of cases and levels of infection, it would be wrong to suggest we're not seeing rising infection in pretty much every part of the country. We are.' Ms Sturgeon said that on most days over the past week there have been cases in every mainland health board area, as well as some islands.

She added: 'There is a rising tide of infection across the country, albeit it is higher in some parts than in others.

The problems the PM (pictured in Downing Street) faces in pushing through tougher coronavirus restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs

The problems the PM (pictured in Downing Street) faces in pushing through tougher coronavirus restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs

Infections in the UK have rocketed in the past few days due to an embarassing counting error

Infections in the UK have rocketed in the past few days due to an embarassing counting error

Scotland can be seen to have had increased infections that a lot of certain parts of England

Scotland can be seen to have had increased infections that a lot of certain parts of England

'Part of our consideration about restrictions also requires us to take account of not just reacting to a problem that is there, but also are you wiser to take preventative action in areas where it might not look like there is as big a problem now, but if you act you can stop a problem developing.'

Meanwhile, parts of the UK – including a number of university cities – could be plunged into local lockdown within days after 'missed' Test and Trace data belatedly revealed soaring infection figures.

Cities including Sheffield and Oxford are among a dozen areas which have seen their coronavirus infection figures soar following the 'computer glitch', which meant 16,000 cases were missed off Public Health England's reporting system.

According to the Telegraph, residents of Nottingham, which has two universities, should prepare for lockdown measures.

The city that hosts Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University was previously not on the government's Covid watch list.

However, the updated data shows that last week the city would have been one of the worst areas in the country compared to the pre-determined numbers.

Steve Baker

Neil Ferguson

Neil Ferguson (right) – known as 'Professor Lockdown' – said pubs might need to close to keep schools open. Steve Baker (left) is leading a Tory revolt against the existing restrictions

The Department of Health insists the new numbers won't affect its watchlist or change the current restriction in the region, the paper said.

It comes as new figures on Tuesday revealed that cases are rocketing in some of the North's biggest cities.

Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham have all seen big leaps, in some cases to a rate of 500 cases per 100,000 people.

That sparked a new round of furious speculation yesterday over tougher local lockdowns, with the risk of further restrictions later this week.

Manchester's weekly rate more than doubled to 2,927 in the week to October 2 – equal to almost 530 cases per 100,000 people.

Liverpool wasn't far behind, with cases per 100,000 jumping from 306 to 487 in one week.

The cases in Sheffield nearly tripled from just over 100 per 100,000 to 286. In Newcastle the rate rose from 268 to 435.

Professor Lockdown warns pubs might close to save schools as PM faces Tory mutiny

The government's Covid modelling guru has  warned pubs could have to shut altogether to keep schools open – as Boris Johnson faces a Tory revolt against the 10pm curfew.

Neil Ferguson – known as 'Professor Lockdown' – said the extra cases added to the UK's tally after an Excel blunder painted a 'sobering' picture of the outbreak.

He said it was not clear that the government could contain the virus while keeping children in secondary schools – and suggested that the wider population will have to 'give up more' to maintain the education provision.

That could include shutting bars and restaurants altogether, as well as extending the October half-term for a two-week 'circuit breaker' lockdown to break transmission chains.

However, the problems the PM would face in pushing through such restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs.

Anger has been growing on the Tory benches over the government's refusal to exempt younger children from the Rule of Six – as happens in Scotland – while many believe that the curfew is causing more harm than good by fueling revelry on the streets and house parties.

Many of the largest increases are in cities with large student populations.

Mr Hancock said campus outbreaks would not necessarily lead to tighter restrictions on the wider community if they could be contained.

Meanwhile, Covid contact tracers were desperately trying to hunt down tens of thousands of potentially infectious Britons last night after the effects of the IT bug were exposed.

Ministers admitted yesterday that officials had managed to get in touch with only half of the 16,000 left off the Government's daily tally of confirmed virus cases last week.

It is estimated that these people could have up to 50,000 potentially infectious contacts that need to be tracked down and isolated.

The 697 positive cases confirmed yesterday across Scotland amounted to 12.8 per cent of newly tested patients. The number of people in hospital with the virus increased by eight, to 218, while those in intensive care remained unchanged at 22, and there were no new deaths.

Ms Sturgeon said there were more young people testing positive than at the start of the pandemic, but warned more older people had been catching the virus in recent weeks.

She said: 'This is a very important point, and actually one of the key points in our consideration of next steps in the days to come.'

'It risks wellbeing of entire communities'

In the UK it is predicated that a number of university cities could be put into local lockdown days after a test and trace counting blunder rocked the infection logging system.

Cities like Sheffield, Leeds and Oxford are among a dozen areas where coronavirus infections rose after the "computer glitch," meaning 16,000 cases were missed from Public Health England's reporting system.

Residents in Nottingham, which has two universities, have reportedly been told to

The Department for Health insist the new figures do not impact its watch list or alter current restriction in the area.

It came as it was revealed cases were rocketing in some of the North's biggest cities.

Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham have all seen big leaps, in some cases to a rate of 500 cases per 100,000 people.

That sparked a new round of furious speculation yesterday over tougher local lockdowns, with the risk of further restrictions later this week.

Manchester's weekly rate more than doubled to 2,927 in the week to October 2 – equal to almost 530 cases per 100,000 people.

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