UK News Thousands more braced for toughest coronavirus controls

03:40  26 october  2020
03:40  26 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Britain puts more areas into lockdown as cases rise

  Britain puts more areas into lockdown as cases rise Britain puts more areas into lockdown as cases riseLONDON (Reuters) - Britain put more of northwest England into the highest COVID alert level on Friday in the face of rising case numbers as Prime Minister Boris Johnson bids to contain a second wave of infections through local measures.

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Hundreds of thousands more people are preparing for the imposition of toughest coronavirus restrictions as talks continue between the Government and local leaders.

a person standing in front of a building talking on a cell phone: (PA) © Jacob King (PA)

Parts of Nottinghamshire look set to be the next to enter the highest Tier 3 alert level in England after discussions carried on through the weekend.

Local politicians have indicated that they expect the new measures could come into force as early as Wednesday.

table: (PA Graphics) © Provided by PA Media (PA Graphics)

The council in Warrington in Cheshire has already said that it will be joining Tier 3 on Thursday.

Downing Street has said that discussions are still “ongoing”.

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The moves come amid warnings from some scientists that existing measures will not be enough to curb the the rapid growth in infections in large parts of the country.

The head of the Office for National Statistics Professor Sir Ian Diamond said it was too early to say the spread of the disease was slowing, despite some positive signs in the latest data.

Over the weekend, South Yorkshire became the latest region to come under the Tier 3 controls following Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government has said it will review a controversial ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items during a two-week “firebreak” lockdown which began on Friday.

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Much of the negotiations between councils in England and Whitehall has been around the financial support packages for the areas affected as well as the detailed local controls.

Going into Tier 3 means pubs and bars have to close unless they serve meals while households are banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens and beer gardens.

Local leaders have repeatedly complained that the cash on offer from ministers is not enough to compensate for the businesses forced to shut their doors and the consequent loss of jobs.

chart, histogram: (PA Graphics) © Provided by PA Media (PA Graphics)

The Government however insists that the latest furlough scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, and the support available, is amongst the most generous in the world.

At the same time, the Government is facing increasing criticism that the NHS Test and Trace service, which was supposed to be the key to controlling the disease is failing.

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For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and lead to death.

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Senior Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin issued a call at the weekend for the head of the organisation – Tory peer Baroness Harding – to be sacked and replaced by a military commander.

In a scathing attack, he said there was a “vacuum of leadership” at the top which was “destroying cooperation and compliance” by the public.

Dido Harding standing in front of a sign: Executive chair of NHS Test and Trace Baroness Dido Harding (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright) © Provided by PA Media Executive chair of NHS Test and Trace Baroness Dido Harding (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright)

He was backed by Labour which said that Lady Harding’s position had become “untenable” after the latest weekly figures showed fewer than 60% of the contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19 had been traced and told to self-isolate.

Ministers have acknowledged that the service needs to improve but insist that Lady Harding has done “a very good job”.

However it emerged that officials on the Covid-19 taskforce were looking at the possibility of easing the rules for people ordered to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone the disease because of the low levels of compliance.

Ministers confirmed that they were looking at reducing the time that people have to quarantine at home from 14 day to between 10 days and a week.

Sources said the over reflected concerns people were failing to respond when they were contacted by the system because of fears they could face a lengthy period locked up at home if they did.

UK is recording more Covid-19 deaths per million people than the US .
Two people for every million in the population are dying from Covid-19 in the UK and US every day. But the UK's seven day average is slightly higher, at 2.63 compared to 2.4.Both countries are currently recording around two Covid-19 deaths for every million people — but Britain's rate stands slightly higher at 2.63, compared to 2.4 in the US.

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