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Coronavirus UK: SAGE calls for national lockdown to "save" Christmas


Britain's second coronavirus crisis is well on its way to killing more than 85,000 people this winter if the country does not close immediately, SAGE warned today, as 274 more Covid-19 victims and 24,405 cases were announced.

The government's scientific advisors have urged the UK to follow in the footsteps of Germany and France and withdraw into a full national shutdown "for at least a month" because they say the current three-tier lockdown system is failing. However, top experts say that interventions take at least three weeks to take effect. The tiered system didn't go into effect until October 14, a little over two weeks ago.

SAGE strongly warned Boris Johnson today that the deaths were already on track to exceed the 85,000 they had projected over the summer in their worst-case scenario model – which is estimated to be 100 Covid by the end of October -19 deaths per day would mean. The UK is already three times that amount.

SAGE also released a document dated Oct. 14 stating that the group warned two weeks ago that the virus was spreading faster than the "worst-case scenario" and that up to 75,000 new infections are occurring each day.

The group, which has been beating the drum for months over a tough two-week lockdown, said the prime minister missed the boat because of a "circuit breaker" and that longer, more stringent intervention was needed to resolve cases and give hospitals some room to move To breathe. Right now the NHS is filling fast with infected patients and has grown by about a third in the past week. According to SAGE, hospitals could be overwhelmed by mid-December.

However, older SAGE sources said it would still not be too late to save Christmas if a month-long lockdown were put in place immediately. They are calling for the closure of all pubs, restaurants and other venues where households mix indoors in an attempt to bring the crippled economy to its knees. SAGE is said to be advocating a lockdown similar to what is happening in France today, where residents can only go out for an hour a day to play sports and close all non-essential businesses for a month – but schools can stay open.

Today's 274 deaths are almost a quarter higher than the 224. There were 24,405 new infections last Friday, almost a fifth more than a week ago when there were 20,530.

Despite SAGE's Doomsday predictions, conflicting data has made it difficult to pinpoint exactly how dire the coronavirus situation is in the UK right now. A report from the Office for National Statistics – a government-run agency – found today that daily coronavirus infections in England rose 50 percent last week. It is estimated that nearly 52,000 people contracted the virus every day, and one in 100 people in the country was infected with Covid-19 a week ago.

The weekly update is far lower than another shocking, government-funded study called REACT-1, which this week claimed that 96,000 new cases had occurred per day as of October 25, bringing the current outbreak to the level of the first wave brings. However, other researchers at King & # 39; s College London predicted around 32,000 cases occur daily in England, claiming that infections are "steadily" increasing and "not getting out of hand".

Meanwhile, Cumbria County Council announced that Carlisle and the surrounding areas – including communities like Longtown and Brampton – will move into Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions starting tomorrow.

A spokesman for the agency said tonight: "The announcement follows rising cases in Carlisle and this week's public health update that showed Carlisle has overtaken the Barrow district because it has the most new cases in the county. Barrow and Carlisle rates are currently above the national average. & # 39;

As of October 14, SAGE released a document stating that the group warned two weeks ago that the virus was spreading faster than the "worst-case scenario" and that up to 75,000 new infections occur every day

As of October 14, SAGE released a document stating that the group warned two weeks ago that the virus was spreading faster than the "worst-case scenario" and that up to 75,000 new infections occur every day

SAGE is said to be calling for a lockdown similar to the one imposed today in France

SAGE is said to be calling for a lockdown similar to the one imposed today in France

REACT-1 predicted earlier this week that the reproductive rate across England had risen to 1.6 – the highest since the first national lockdown – and possibly as high as 2.8 in London. When the R is above 1, a breakout can grow exponentially. An R of 1.8 would mean that, on average, every 10 people infected would infect 28 other people. However, SAGE's most recent official R-rate estimates – also released today – claimed the number had fallen, ranging from 1.1 to 1.3 both nationally and in London.

Amid confusion about the true extent of the country's infection rates, one thing is clear: hospitals are filling up with infected patients, and have increased by about a third in the past week. The MailOnline analysis shows that 19 NHS trusts are already treating more virus patients than on the darkest days of the pandemic in spring.

Trusts in third-tier restricted areas such as Nottingham, Liverpool and Doncaster are seeing up to three times as many Covid-19 patients as in mid-April, and there are still five brutal months of winter left. The fact that several trusts are already past spring levels will be cause for concern so early in winter. The deeper the country penetrates into the colder months, the sicker people become from a number of other illnesses and require care, which increases the pressure on hospitals.

There is reason to be optimistic, however, as the total number of beds occupied by Covid-19 patients across the country is still only half what it was during the darkest days of the crisis in spring. The hospitals were not overwhelmed in April either. And while hospitals fill up quickly, they are mostly located in hotspot areas, and some experts believe it was a direct result of a surge in infections in mid-September, which means that uptake could soon decline.

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labor & # 39; s Shadow Health Secretary, responded tonight to warnings from SAGE, saying, “We are in an extremely serious situation with coronavirus spreading wildly. Boris Johnson should have used the school half-year for a temporary break to suppress infections, repair Test & Trace and save lives. It is imperative that Boris Johnson outline the actions he will now take to get the virus under control and fulfill his promise to bring R below 1 quickly. & # 39;

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in the London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official figures

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in the London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official figures

Almost 20 NHS trusts in England are already treating more coronavirus patients than at the height of the first wave. This comes from official statistics, which suggest that hospitals across the country may run out of beds before Christmas

Almost 20 NHS trusts in England are already treating more coronavirus patients than at the height of the first wave. This comes from official statistics, which suggest that hospitals across the country may run out of beds before Christmas

What is the TRUTH about Britain's second wave? The R-rate drops again and the symptom tracking app says the outbreak is "stable" – but Imperial is warning of 96,000 cases per day and even ONS claims the infections are "spiking".

There is no doubt that coronavirus infections are still on the rise in the UK, but mathematicians and scientists disagree on how bad the second wave really is.

A number of statistics have been released over the past 48 hours, with conflicting estimates of the number of people becoming infected with the virus, between 35,000 and 96,000 per day, and some doubts about the fateful warnings of a repeat of the disaster in March.

Statistics released this week have highlighted a wide range of possible daily infections in England, from just 34,000 according to an estimate by King & # 39; s College London to 96,000 according to a government-run REACT study

Statistics released this week have shown a wide range of possible daily infections in England, from just 34,000 according to an estimate by King & # 39; s College London to 96,000 according to a government-run REACT study

One of the Office for National Statistics' top Covid-19 analysts said today that cases in England are "rising sharply" while an epidemiologist behind another project said people could be "reassured" that the virus is not getting out of hand .

Of studies that estimate the number of new infections per day in England, the ONS put them at 51,900; King's College Covid Symptom Study reads 34,628; a Cambridge University "nowcast" said 55,600; and Imperial College London's government-funded REACT study put them at 96,000. The Ministry of Health's official testing program records 22,125 infections a day, but a large number is known to be overlooked with no symptoms.

All calculations have increased since their previous estimates and there is agreement that the outbreak is getting worse, but the speed at which this is happening is unclear.

In the meantime, SAGE released its weekly estimate of the R-rate today, stating that the rate of propagation has decreased. The government's scientific advisors have set the ranges for the UK and England at 1.1 to 1.3, up from 1.2 to 1.4 last week. However, they said, "SAGE is almost certain that the epidemic will continue to grow rapidly across the country."

The number of people being hospitalized and dying from coronavirus continues to rise rapidly. Currently, an average of 230 deaths per day are announced and 10,308 people hospitalized with Covid-19, an increase of more than 1,000 per day.

These will continue to rise over the coming weeks and months, even as cases slow down or even fall, officials say, as hospitalizations and deaths from infections that occur two to three weeks earlier are “burned in”.

A statistician who was not involved in any of the predictions – Professor James Naismith of Oxford University – said that there were "uncertainties" in all of them, meaning that not a single number was correct. He added, "We can be almost certain that the number of deaths per day from Covid-19 will increase over the next few weeks."

It comes as local leaders warned that it was "inevitable" that Birmingham move to Stage Three soon as ministers warned that the nation was heading for a national lockdown "by proxy" while the streets in London were largely empty, fearing the capital might sink the top tier within the next two weeks.

About 21 million people across England will soon be living in areas subject to Tier 2 restrictions while 11 million will be living in Tier 3 areas, meaning around 32 million – nearly 60 percent of the population – will be in the higher levels will be located.

West Yorkshire will move into the third tier from midnight on Sunday as 2.3 million people in Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield are among the eight million in Liverpool, Greater Manchester and Nottibghamshire who are already under the most severe conditions.

Ministers are said to have been presented with "very, very grim" data this week that experts believe could lead the whole country to level three by Christmas.

The latest coronavirus developments were:

  • Dominic Raab said the public would find it "desperately unfair" to impose a national lockdown while infection rates vary across the country.
  • Nottinghamshire Police say 40 young people face fines after breaking a dormitory party.
  • It found that UK's largest lenders charged the government over £ 65 million in interest in just three months to lend UK businesses during the pandemic.
  • British Airways' parent company, IAG, posted a pre-tax loss of 6.2 billion euros in the nine months to the end of September. compared to pre-tax profit of 2.3 billion euros (2.1 billion pounds sterling) for the same period last year.
  • Official statistics suggest that almost every 13th UK worker was still on vacation in mid-October when the program ends that weekend.
  • Official statistics showed that there have now been more than 62,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the UK.
  • Mark Drakeford announced that, once its national lockdown ends, Wales will no longer return to a "network of local restrictions" and will instead introduce a "simple set of national rules that are more understandable to all".

Tier 3 restrictions mean pubs and bars must close unless they serve extensive meals, while indoor or outdoor mixing indoors, including in gardens, is also prohibited.

However, some experts are skeptical that the top tier will be enough to regain control of the spread of the coronavirus in the face of growing calls for tougher measures.

The government is reportedly considering introducing a new Tier 4 restriction that would approximate the measures imposed during the national lockdown.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab did not deny that it was this morning when he told the BBC's Radio 4 Today: “We are always ready for any more action we can take, but I think the most important thing about more action is that we carry on the way we focus on the virus.

“The difference between now and the first lockdown is that we're in a much better place to really focus on where the virus is greatest, and I think that's right, not just in terms of science and virus management, but also in terms of the way people think it is fair to fight the virus. It is natural justice that we focus on the areas where the increase is greatest, and we do not have a one-size-fits-all, blanket or blunt approach. & # 39;

Mr Raab said the government wanted to avoid the "arbitrariness of a blanket approach" as he claimed the public was in favor of targeted restrictions.

However, he didn't rule out the possibility of a national lockdown at some point after France and Germany took the move earlier this week.

He said, “You mention France. France naturally tried a localized approach and then went back to the national approach.

“I think that shows you that Germany is the same. It is important that we all come together at the local to the national level, communities, local leaders and national leaders, and really lean on the locally focused approach.

"It is the most effective way to fight the virus and avoid the blanket approach that I believe is not in the best interests of this country and that we are trying to avoid."

Scientists have warned that the second wave of coronavirus could result in 85,000 deaths, almost twice as many as victims of the first epidemic

Percentage change in coronavirus cases across England for the week ended October 25: The five local authorities that have seen the highest increase in infection rates are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 percent; Derby, 91.84 percent; North Somerset, 82.99 percent; Medway, 77.17 percent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 percent

Percentage change in coronavirus cases across England for the week ended October 25: The five local authorities that have seen the highest increase in infection rates are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 percent; Derby, 91.84 percent; North Somerset, 82.99 percent; Medway, 77.17 percent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 percent

Data for the week between October 12-15 suggests that the infection rate has increased significantly in some parts of the country

Data for the week between October 12-15 suggests that the infection rate has increased significantly in some parts of the country

Birmingham City Council chairman urges Boris Johnson to "immediately" impose a national breaker lockout

Boris Johnson faces a lockdown riot in Birmingham when the city council chairman claimed the tiered system of government just wasn't working and called on the prime minister to "immediately" impose a national breaker shutdown.

It is widely expected that rising infection rates will bring Birmingham into Tier 3 restrictions within a few days.

But Councilor Ian Ward said areas already in stage three "are still seeing rising cases" when he warned ministers not to "repeat last March's mistake of not moving early enough".

Mr. Ward, who heads England's largest council of 1.1 million people, said: “The problem is that the animal system just doesn't work. There are still increasing cases in third tier areas. & # 39;

He added: “I think England needs to follow France, Germany and Wales as soon as possible with a national breaker.

"We cannot repeat the mistake made last March of not moving early enough."

The chief of the labor council said locking the breaker would buy us valuable time.

"Delaying this decision means more preventable deaths and only prolongs the economic damage because the current system just doesn't work," he said.

Andy Street, the Conservative Mayor of West Midlands, said he had "not proposed a national lockdown" but added that it was clear that further action was needed "to turn the tide".

He claimed that blanket measures across England had the "greater economic and social impact" but said the differences between the areas with the best and worst rates of infection in the country were "evened out".

He added, “There is evidence that delays in the best areas are indeed counterproductive.

"So if this is a national four-week lockdown I don't know, but I know the message is very clear: we need to take further action to turn this tide, sooner rather than later."

Covid-19 outbreaks are increasing fastest in Hull, Derby and Somerset, according to official data

Covid-19 outbreaks are increasing fastest in Hull, Derby and Bath. According to official data, only 20 of the 150 authorities in England have seen a decrease in infections over the past week.

Hull and Derby saw their coronavirus epidemics almost double in the seven-day period ending October 25. The 7-day infection rate rose to 279 and 329 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.

Both cities, along with the rest of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, will move from Tier 1 to Tier 2 from Saturday to curb the surge in infections. This was announced yesterday as England moved one step closer to full national lockdown.

However, most of the authorities where epidemics have increased the most are still in the first stage, where only the 6pm and 10pm curfew only applies. Scientists have argued that these rules are not strict enough to reduce the outbreak. Top government advisors warn that current growth is "very bleak".

For example, North Somerset and Bath, as well as North East Somerset, where cases rose 83 percent and 70 percent in a week, respectively, need to face even tighter anti-virus restrictions. Despite the warnings, the coronavirus crisis is "accelerating" in the south of the country.

Figures from Public Health England's weekly surveillance report show that the infection rate in Nottingham has fallen by 30 percent. Despite the city's shrinking outbreak, it will be placed under the toughest Tier 3 restrictions starting tomorrow along with the rest of the county.

And the data provided more evidence that the toughest lockdown measures work. Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and St. Helens are all seeing drops in their weekly coronavirus infection rates. The entire Merseyside area has been closed since October 14th.

It suggests that the brutal restrictions prohibiting people from being in contact with anyone outside of their own household, and imposing the closure of many pubs, bars, and in some cases gyms, are starting to work. However, scientists say that the real effects of the measure only become clear after a few weeks.

Mr Raab said it was "vital" to "get the public involved" and he believed the government's tiered approach was the best way to do it.

"It is vital to get the public involved. The longer this pandemic goes on, the harder it will be for any country," he said.

“But the best way to get the public involved is for them to intuitively understand that they know we are putting the virus where it is, even if it feels difficult in their region, or whether it is business or domestic greatest threat. & # 39;

Mr Raab's comments came as local leaders said it was "inevitable" that third tier restrictions will be imposed on Birmingham soon.

Many areas in the East and West Midlands are currently in the second stage, but Councilor Ian Ward, chairman of Birmingham City Council, said yesterday that a move to the third stage is planned, even if it is not imminent.

He said, "Given the rising case rate and other factors, a move to Tier 3 seems inevitable at some point, and I speak daily to the other (council) leaders, MPs and public health officials we meet with our requests to get started Tier three put together.

“We want the government to work with us to protect lives, jobs and the economy.

“We don't want an imposition without a negotiation. But I certainly did not say that we would enter Stage Three immediately. This is currently not the case. & # 39;

Health experts warn that the UK's three tier system is not enough to beat the numbers. Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam is reportedly starting to change his mind on whether regional lockdowns will suppress the virus.

He supported the move at a press conference number 10 last week.

Mr Van Tam presented data from a source labeled "very, very dreary" at a meeting of Covid-O, the cabinet's subcommittee on coronavirus, and said daily hospital admissions are now their highest since April, at 1,404 would have achieved.

There are fears that the whole country will be at level three by Christmas and the family will come together unless urgent action is taken now.

Experts believe that when people can visit family for Christmas it will be a "spreading event", which can lead to an increase in infections many times worse than that caused by university students returning to campus Caused earlier this year.

However, some believe that putting national restrictions in place before and after Christmas while they are lifted for the big day could help minimize the impact.

A senior health official told the Telegraph that anti-Covid measures are most likely to be successful if taken on a national basis, rather than tightening Tier 3 or introducing Tier 4 rules.

They added that locking out the breakers after Christmas could also help reverse the number and curb the rising number of hospitalizations as fears spread that UK intensive care units could overflow.

"Releasing measures for two days is unlikely to result in a big rebound," a source said.

& # 39; But it won't do anything. Christmas brings people from all over the country to sit together so it is very likely a spreading event.

"But people want to see loved ones and they want to make physical contact, and we have to recognize that."

Almost 60 percent of the population – around 32.6 million – will be subject to stricter rules by Monday, and London is believed to could be moved to the top tier in two weeks, provided that infection rates do not drop significantly.

However, an analysis by MailOnline suggests that only one borough of London currently has a coronavirus infection rate above the English average, as it is feared that the capital's R-rate could be up to three.

Ealing County had a weekly infection rate of 228.5 cases per 100,000 people for the week ending October 24, slightly above the national average of 225.9.

For the other 31 boroughs, however, their rates were below the national benchmark.

And when the city's Covid-19 outbreak was split into smaller counties within the counties, only six areas had an infection rate of 400 per 100,000 – that's the level in the hardest-hit tier-three cities of Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield.

Nonetheless, no districts in the capital have an infection rate below 100 per 100,000, well above the level of 20 per 100,000 at which the government is considering restricting travel abroad.

Sixteen other areas, including Oxford, Luton, East Riding of Yorkshire, Kingston Upon Hull, Derbyshire Dales, Derby and Staffordshire, are given high risk Level 2 at midnight

This means that more than 21.6 million people are facing restrictions that include banning indoor contact with someone from another household, whether at home or in bars, restaurants and cafes.

It comes after SAGE put renewed pressure on the prime minister to impose stricter restrictions as it warned up to 85,000 people could die in a second wave of infections.

A "reasonable worst-case scenario" proposed by SAGE suggested that daily deaths could stay above 500 for three months or more through next March.

Escape from Paris: The city is bogged down as tens of thousands flee, stations are full, violent protests erupt and shelves are pulled out before BANS locks up for months

By Jack Wright for MailOnline

Tens of thousands of Parisians caused massive traffic jams last night in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital before Emmanuel Macron's new national closure began.

The video posted on Twitter shows a large number of Parisians attempting a mass exodus from the city to avoid the 9 p.m. curfew and the start of the second lockdown at midnight.

The night air was filled with the sound of booming car horns, while social media users estimated that the Parisians had stalled hundreds of kilometers to escape to their second homes in the country.

Revelers also took the opportunity to spend one final night with friends and family before bars and restaurants close while the French government puts the country back on lockdown.

Meanwhile, the French emptied supermarkets in a re-run of the panic buying that swept Europe in March as Parisians and other urbanites prepared for a month in custody.

Shoppers filled with pasta and toilet paper while people lined up in front of the hairdresser to get one final cut. Office workers in the capital's business district transported their equipment to cars and trains in preparation for the WFH.

Emmanuel Macron's draconian measures should be enforced at least until December 1st. People must have documents with them explaining why they left home and are subject to police controls.

Tens of thousands of Parisians caused massive traffic jams last night in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital before Emmanuel Macron's new national closure began

Tens of thousands of Parisians caused massive traffic jams last night in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital before Emmanuel Macron's new national closure began

Tens of thousands of Parisians caused massive traffic jams last night in a desperate attempt to flee the French capital before Emmanuel Macron's new national closure began

View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records were broken in Paris before the new shutdown went into effect

View of traffic jams in Paris as traffic records were broken in Paris before the new shutdown went into effect

Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon so as not to confine themselves to the French capital during the closure

Parisians flocked to the Gare de Lyon so as not to confine themselves to the French capital during the closure

The French health minister warned yesterday that up to a million people could be infected with the disease, while Prime Minister Jean Castex extended mask requirements to school children aged six and over.

The French schools remain open, but the policies for adults who stay at home are just as strict as in the spring. Written documents are required for shopping, medical care or one hour of training per day.

President Macron said a curfew in Paris and other major cities did not stop the tide of infections, claiming 400,000 people would die from Covid-19 if drastic measures were not taken.

In a televised announcement, he said, "Our goal is simple: to reduce infections from 40,000 a day to 5,000 and slow down admissions to hospitals and intensive care units."

Hospitals are already looking for ICU beds and "no matter what we do, there will be nearly 9,000 people in ICU by mid-November," he said. The French leader called the new restrictions "heartbreaking" but said he could "never watch hundreds of thousands of our citizens die".

Bars, shops and restaurants are closing completely again as the French government urges companies to let employees work from home "five days a week".

This map shows the 14-day Covid-19 infection rate in Europe. Most of France belongs to the highest category of 240 or more cases per 100,000 people, along with most of Spain, all of the Czech Republic, northern England and many other regions of the continent. French leader Emmanuel Macron announced a new nationwide lockdown this week, claiming 400,000 people would die from coronavirus if the country does nothing to control a second wave that will be "more deadly" than the first

This map shows the 14-day Covid-19 infection rate in Europe. Most of France belongs to the highest category of 240 or more cases per 100,000 people, along with most of Spain, all of the Czech Republic, northern England and many other regions of the continent. French leader Emmanuel Macron announced a new nationwide lockdown this week, claiming 400,000 people would die from coronavirus if the country does nothing to control a second wave that will be "more deadly" than the first

Mr Macron said some stores could open in mid-November if the situation improves – but his scientific adviser's warning raises the prospect of lockdown measures that will last until Christmas.

Government-recognized reasons for leaving households include buying essential goods, seeking medical help or being given exercise every day within an hour, the French government said. Although bars and restaurants will close again, all public services, schools and important workplaces will remain open.

Shops and stores across France were also filled with people running for supplies on Thursday – and perhaps at the last minute – before the new lockdown.

The French government recorded yesterday 47,637 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, compared to 36,437 on Wednesday and a record high of 52,010 on SundayThe total number of infections rose to over 1.28 million, while the death toll rose 235 to 36,020. The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 fell to 976 after three days, with around 1,200 hospital stays per day.

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