18 councils in England have not passed their coronavirus death peak, according to a new analysis that lays bare the true scale of the crisis across the country.
Although the nation as a whole is seeing a decrease in the number of Covid-19 deaths in hospitals and the wider community, in some parts the opposite is true. North Somerset, Preston, Doncaster and Carlisle are among the 18 areas enduring their worst weeks so far, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS data reveals a considerable degree of variation on a local level, raising concern about the government’s plans for easing lockdown.
Minsters have previously said restrictions may have to be re-introduced on a localised level and are considering doing this as part of the test and trace scheme, launching in England today. That could include restrictions on individual schools and offices in areas where there appears to be a high number of deaths or cases, The Daily Telegraph reports.
One area struggling to cope with the virus is North Somerset, where Weston General Hospital had to close its doors to new admissions due to the high number of Covid-19 cases.
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All staff are being tested amid what was described as an ‘emerging picture’ of asymptomatic workers testing positive.
Boris Johnson used Weston Hospital as an example where the government ‘moved very quickly to close things down there to try to sort it out’. He said: ‘That is the kind of whack-a-mole tactics that we are going to use as we keep driving the virus down and keep reducing the incidents.’
Other areas yet to see their peak are all over the country, including in Cumbria, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Kent.
It comes after Boris Johnson gave the green light for more lockdown restrictions to be lifted, saying the UK is meeting the five tests the government has set out to ensure there will be no second peak of coronavirus.
The PM announced people will be allowed to meet outside in groups of six from Monday. This can be people from different households, as long as it is outdoors and maintaining a two-metre social distance.
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