U.K.: Coronavirus cases rise second time new lockdown announced

Published on : Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom continued to surge on this Friday, as new local lockdowns were announced across the country.

A further 4,322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported – the highest daily figure since May – bringing the total number above 385,000. The new daily cases consistently reached above 3,000 this week, having fallen to around 500 in July. At its peak in April, the United Kingdom was recording around 5,000 cases per day.

The outbreaks in areas in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have fuelled the latest spike in Covid-19 cases, prompting the government to reintroduce containment measures for nearly 13.5 million people throughout the country.

Areas in the north of England have seen the highest infection rates over the last seven days, with Blackburn, Warrington, Greater Manchester and Merseyside all seeing more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people.

Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales also saw case numbers rise above 100, while Halton, Tyne and Wear and Lancashire saw figures increase significantly.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said local restrictions were part of the government’s approach of “targeted interventions” but did not rule out the possibility of another nation-wide lockdown. He said that the national lockdown is the last line of defence.

The United Kingdom is one of several European countries experiencing a severe second wave of the deadly virus, with both France and Spain experiencing new daily records in recent days.

While the UK was behind those countries to see infections initially spread, its first wave turned out to be more serious in terms of both cumulative case numbers and deaths.

A similar pattern appears to be occurring for the second wave, with the UK once again behind France and Spain. If the UK mirrors the trends of the other two countries, the second wave could be even greater than the first.

The European head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Hans Kluge, warned on Thursday that many countries were “going into a worsening situation” as a result of strict lockdowns lifting and public resistance to face masks and other measures needed to contain the pandemic.

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