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Is England's Covid-19 Outbreak Finally Shrinking? ONS estimates 2,400 new cases per day


An intensive care doctor working in Birmingham said it was "risk averse" to lock down the entire city as new cases are being driven by clusters in different parts of the city.

Dr. Ron Daniels, who works for Birmingham University Hospitals, told BBC Radio 4's Today program that the rise in coronavirus cases is not a citywide problem.

Official figures show that the infection rate in Birmingham has more than doubled in the past 14 days to around 25 new cases per 100.00 people. A handful of stations see a similar number of new infections, according to the government.

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock chaired a Gold Command meeting yesterday to discuss Birmingham's potential under lockdown.

The Council Presidents who attended the meeting were keen to prevent further damage to the already crippled local economy by avoiding stricter measures such as those imposed in the North West and Leicester.

Birmingham is expected to be placed on a national "watch list" starting today, which means it will receive "increased support" to avoid further cases.

Local health bosses warned residents of the city – 1.1 million people – that "what we do over the next seven days will determine whether or not we get banned".

Ministers are also expected to provide an update on whether tougher action is needed for Oldham, Blackburn and Pendle, where cases are increasing.

Detailed government statistics, published on a map by the Department of Health, show that no particular stations in Birmingham are responsible for the city's rising infection rate

Official figures show that the city of Birmingham's infection rate has more than doubled in the past 14 days. There are around 25 new cases of coronavirus for every 100,000 people - from just 11 in the first week of August

Official figures show that the city of Birmingham's infection rate has more than doubled in the past 14 days. There are around 25 new cases of coronavirus for every 100,000 people – from just 11 in the first week of August

Dr. Daniels said, “We cannot protect ourselves from this virus yet. The reality is that we are seeing regions and this is not a city-wide problem in Birmingham – these are clusters, they are outbreaks.

“We need to look very carefully at where we are seeing localized clusters and localized outbreaks, and we need to consider action in those regions.

“But applying a citywide lockdown seems a little risk averse to me at the moment.

"And the reason I'm saying this is because we're testing more people, which of course is partly responsible for the increased number of cases, but there are other factors that don't seem to be taken into account."

He added, "I think there is consideration to positivity rates, but we are not looking at death rates and we are not looking at hospital admissions.

"We have seen cases since the beginning of July and our hospitals are still relatively empty of patients with this condition."

There were around 25 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Birmingham between August 11 and 17 – up from just 11 in the first week of the month.

Detailed government statistics released on a map by the Department of Health show that no particular parish in Birmingham is responsible for the city's rising infection rate, but a handful of them have recorded multiple cases.

The most recent postcode numbers show that Rotton Park – to the west of the city and on the border with neighboring Sandwell – had the most cases between August 9 and 15 (16).

Sandwell, which borders Birmingham, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton, is currently one of the 20 hardest hit locations in England, with an infection rate of 21.1 cases per 100,000 people.

15 cases were recorded in Handsworth South and 13 in Birchfield West. While 12 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 in Bordesley and 11 in neighboring Small Heath Park, both are east of the city center.

Thirty-six cases have been diagnosed in the three counties of Smethwick which are technically classified as being in the local government department of Sandwell rather than Birmingham.

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