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Coronavirus: SAGE warns England's three tier system may not be enough once banned


Family Christmases are still in jeopardy unless social distancing rules tighten after England's second lockdown, a subgroup of SAGE has warned.

The government's scientific advisory group told ministers last week that the return to the same three tier local system after the lockdown will only bring England back to where it was when the second wave peaked in late October.

It's still not clear if the tier three rules are strong enough to keep the R-rate below one, they warned. R, which measures how many people each person infected with Covid passes the virus on, must stay lower than one for an outbreak to shrink.

Boris Johnson and his aides have already confirmed that England will return to a tiered local lockdown system in December, but what exactly it will look like is not yet clear – SAGE advisors say it must be able to screw the screw even stronger than to tighten in the past.

However, real world data suggests that tier 3 rules are already working well enough to bring the R to at least one, if not lower.

According to today's official estimate by SAGE, the R-rate in the northwest – based on data prior to the national lockdown and during the third stage – is between 0.9 and 1.1. That was a 1.3-1.5 low in mid-October ahead of Tier Three.

Health Department test data also shows that infection rates in Liverpool have dropped from 681 cases per 100,000 people to just 274 per 100,000 in the past week, according to local lockdown rules.

And a senior government adviser admitted today that Tier Three "had the impact it needed" to tackle and keep the UK coronavirus crisis under control before national rules were put in place.

It comes as the UK confirmed another 27,301 positive coronavirus tests and 376 deaths from Covid-19 today. Two other reports have added to the plethora of data showing England's second wave flattened out last week.

SAGE's own estimate of the R-rate, based on pre-national lockdown data, found it fell between 1.0 and 1.2 for the third time in a month in the UK, from 1.1 to 1.3 in the last week. This is the first time since early September that advisors believe R could go down to one.

In a weekly update from the Office of National Statistics, mass tests found that there were 47,700 new infections a day in England as of November 6, just slightly more than 45,700 the week before. It is said that infections "stay in around 50,000 new cases per day".

SAGE's official estimate for the R-Rate has fallen this week and could now go down from 1.0 overall to 0.9 and 0.9 in the North West of England. However, it remains higher than one in any other region and in England

SAGE's official estimate for the R-Rate has fallen this week and could now go down from 1.0 overall to 0.9 and 0.9 in the North West of England. However, it remains higher than one in any other region and in England

In a Nov. 4 article, SPI-M, a group of scientists working on numbers for SAGE, warned that there is still no clear evidence that third-level locks are tough enough to keep R below one.

The rules, which included pubs closing and household mixing bans, were put in place across much of the north of England before a national shutdown was called.

SPI-M said, "If England returns to the same tiering application before November 5th, transmission will return to the same rate of increase as it is today."

The experts added, "It is not yet clear whether Tier 3 measures alone are enough to bring the reproductive number below one."

The paper released today by SAGE comes to – confusingly – as a senior government advisor today that Tier Three worked well.

The source added that Tier 2 also had the desired effect in some areas, although not as much as in Tier 3 areas.

In the harshest of situations, residents were forbidden from meeting people they weren't living in and saw pubs need to close – but gyms, unnecessary shops and restaurants could stay open.

In Tier 2, people were prohibited from mingling with anyone outside their own homes, but pubs were allowed to stay open.

All three levels had to adhere to the then applicable national rules, including the 10 p.m. curfew and the rule of six.

COVID TEST POSITIVE RATE DROPS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE MONTHS

The percentage of coronavirus tests that are positive has fallen for the first time in almost three months in England, according to official figures.

It raises further hopes that the country will get a better grip on its second wave and may already be in the middle of it.

Experts say one of the most accurate and fairest ways to track the progress of the virus is to look at the positivity rates of the tests – the percentage of swabs that come back positive.

When a country has a high positivity rate, it means the centralized system is struggling to keep up with the outbreak. However, a low rate means that only a small proportion of the population actually has the disease.

A weekly report published today by Public Health England found that 9.7 percent of the second pillar tests performed in the week ended November 8th showed positive results. That was a decrease of 10.2 percent over the seven days before.

It is the first time since the week leading up to August 2 that the positivity rate for Pillar 2 tests has decreased. Pillar 2 is performed in test centers, drive-through clinics, and in private homes – which makes up the vast majority of all tests.

The first pillar tests – which were done in hospitals – also fell from the week, falling from 4.8 percent to 4.5 percent. It was the first time since the week leading up to August 23 that that number had fallen.

It comes as the UK announced another 33,470 positive cases yesterday – 39 percent more than last Thursday – despite indicators showing the outbreak is slowing.

The number of cases is the highest since the Covid-19 outbreak began and comes a week after the second national lockdown began in England. It's an increase from 22,950 yesterday.

However, unofficial statistics suggest that the country's outbreak slowed and diminished even before the November 5 lockdown began, and is expected to continue to shrink during November's strict regulations.

The SAGE expert said, “At level three, evidence looks like level three brings the R to one or below in most places. That has the necessary effect.

"Tier Two" does the same thing in some locations, depending on location and compliance. Tier One doesn't look like it. This will give you an idea of ​​what action to take in the future after locking to stay in control. & # 39;

When he was depressed, he did not comment on relaxing measures at Christmas so the families could spend the holidays together. He said it was merely a "political decision, not a science decision".

Fighting hard for the second lockdown, SAGE presented increasingly doomy models to the government that predicted that thousands of daily deaths and hospitals would be overwhelmed by December.

While it will never be known what actual effect the tiered system would have had because it was abandoned just two weeks later, there have been a number of indications that these dark predictions would never have come true.

Today's analysis by MailOnline found that the number of coronavirus patients treated in hospitals in Liverpool fell by 15 percent in the week leading up to the second national lockdown.

NHS England figures show that on November 5th, the day the country went into its second lockdown, 413 people with Covid-19 were living at Liverpool University Hospitals, the city's largest trust.

That was a 13 percent decrease from the 475 treated the week before October 30.

It is true, however, that the Trust is treating more Covid-19 patients than at the height of the first wave – for comparison, on April 12, 346 people were infected with the virus in Liverpool's hospitals.

However, it is believed that the Trust has a total of at least 1,600 beds and as of November 5, 1,268 were occupied by patients of all diseases.

It suggests that the trust, which has broken off numerous non-urgent surgeries to make room, is currently 80 percent busy – making it quieter than it was last December.

Large trusts in other Tier 3 areas also saw the number of Covid-19 patients in their hospitals decreasing before the second lockdown, suggesting that the strictest local measures were not being given enough time to work.

For example, the NHS Trust in Merseyside, St. Helens and Knowsley treated 105 people for the disease on Nov. 5, compared with 118 the week before.

A similar story is playing out at the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where Covid-19-occupied beds fell from 188 to 142 over the same period.

However, in other Tier 3 areas such as Manchester and Lancashire, Covid-19 hospital admissions have not yet decreased.

Although the measures in these areas were only enforced in late October, it could take another week for the benefits to be transferred to the hospital data.

The number of coronavirus patients treated at hospitals in Liverpool fell by 15 percent in the week leading up to the second national lockdown. This emerges from official NHS data, which further questions whether the fall shutdown was justified

The number of coronavirus patients treated at hospitals in Liverpool fell by 15 percent in the week leading up to the second national lockdown. This emerges from official NHS data, which further questions whether the fall shutdown was justified

Large trusts in other Tier 3 areas also saw the number of Covid-19 patients in their hospitals decline before the second lockdown, suggesting that the strictest local measures were not being given enough time to work. For example, the NHS Trust in Merseyside, St. Helens and Knowsley treated 105 people for the disease on Nov. 5, compared with 118 the week before. A similar story is playing out at the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where Covid-19-occupied beds fell from 188 to 142 over the same period

Large trusts in other Tier 3 areas also saw the number of Covid-19 patients in their hospitals decline before the second lockdown, suggesting that the strictest local measures were not being given enough time to work. For example, the NHS Trust in Merseyside, St. Helens and Knowsley treated 105 people for the disease on Nov. 5, compared with 118 the week before. A similar story is playing out at the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where Covid-19-occupied beds fell from 188 to 142 over the same period

This is because of the time lag it takes Covid-19 patients to get seriously ill enough to need treatment.

Professor Paul Hunter, epidemiologist at the University of East Anglia, commented on the results to MailOnline: “I have no doubt that Tier Three worked. Personally, I think the data is very clear that tier three was enough to topple it cases and I think most of the local authorities in tier 2 have worked as well. & # 39;

Meanwhile, analysis of Public Health England's numbers found that more than eight out of ten local authorities under Tier 3 restrictions had coronavirus cases in the week leading up to the national lockdown – further evidence of the success of Animal Three.

In the final days of the tiered system, 26 out of 31 councils (82 percent) saw their Covid-19 cases decline under the strictest restrictions at the time. Level three allowed restaurants, non-essential shops, and gyms to stay open, but pubs were forced to close and people were not allowed to mingle with other households.

Tier 2 areas with closures with 22 of the 64 councils (34 percent) as part of the measures that saw a decrease in Covid-19 infections in the week ended November 5. Tier two areas only prevented people from mingling with people they didn't have life with.

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