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Independent Sage said the latest figures show the UK is just “days away from the levels we saw” at the beginning of the pandemic when drastic action was taken. The group of scientists chaired by Sir David King, former chief scientific adviser to the Government, has warned the situation in the North of England, home to multiple COVID-19 hotspots, is “rapidly worsening”.
The experts want to see Boris Johnson unveil a package of “emergency measures” designed to curb the spread of the virus and said it is time the Government got a grip on the Test and Trace system.
Their warning comes after it emerged the COVID-19 app has sent out just one alert since it was launched two weeks ago.
The Department for Health and Social Care said it does not expect to send out alerts frequently from QR code check-ins.
Independent Sage shared a graph on Twitter showing the rising number of coronavirus hospital admissions across England.
The chart illustrates how the daily average number of admissions is rising fastest in the North-East and Yorkshire, slightly ahead of the rate in the North-West.
The Midlands and London have also experienced a rise in recent weeks, but to a lesser extent.
The graph shows how the North-East and Yorkshire as well as the North-West region are on track to reach the same levels seen in March within a week.
Independent Sage said: “This is why we believe the Government must take action today.
“Latest figures show we are days away from levels we saw when London locked down.
“We need press, public & government to understand the extreme seriousness of the situation.”
The group said the failure of the Test and Trace system has left the Government with limited options to stem the spread of the invisible killer virus.
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This week it emerged that a technical glitch had led to almost 16,000 positive coronavirus tests going unreported.
The error meant efforts to trace contacts of people who had contracted the virus were delayed.
Professor Karl Friston of University College London, said: “The window of opportunity for enhanced contact tracing has passed.
“It’s gone too far.
“No amount of contact tracing will work at the moment.”
The group’s warning comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected raft of restrictions for communities in the north of England.
Under his “three tier” lockdown system, areas deemed to have the highest rates of infection will see their hospitality venues shuttered.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce further support for jobs and businesses that are affected by coronavirus shutdowns amid calls to help the hardest-hit industries and regions.
Mr Sunak will detail “the next stage” of the Jobs Support Scheme on Friday, ahead of new restrictions expected for the hospitality sector.
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