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Covid hotspots mapped: Surge testing areas widened in London – where are the hotspots?

Jeremy Vine panel clash over COVID-19 case spikes

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Coronavirus cases surged at the end of 2020, but since the vaccination programme has ramped up daily new cases have dropped dramatically. There are however new Covid variants which are threatening the last stage of planned lockdown easing scheduled to take place from June 21. Doubt has been cast on whether England can keep to the timeframe or whether local lockdowns may instead be considered where the virus is on the rise.

Surge testing for the Indian Covid variant is due to be extended across five west London boroughs.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock this week revealed surge testing was being introduced to seven new areas after new cases of the variant were identified.

On Friday, it was revealed testing will be expanded to the boroughs of Hillingdon, Ealing, Brent and Harrow.

The latest figures suggest the number of Indian Covid variant cases have risen from 400 to 720.

England’s R number increased slightly from 0.8 to 1.1 to 0.9 to 1.1 according to the latest figures.

This means the nationwide growth rate is estimated to be between minus two and one percent, which is a small increase from last week’s minus three to one percent.

The figures reveal the number of new cases is fairly flat, but indicate the number of people testing positive for the virus in England is showing “early signs of a potential increase”.

Since the Indian variant hit the UK, there have been 3,424 cases, with experts warning it could be up to 50 percent more transmissible than the Kent strain which emerged last year.

However, experts have been keen to stress there is no evidence to suggest the Covid vaccine is ineffective against this mutation.

But it is not only the Indian variant prompting concern – health officials are now investigating a “triple mutant” coronavirus variant in Yorkshire.

The strain named VUI-21MAY-01 or AV.1 has been identified in parts of Yorkshire and the Humber.

In total, 49 cases of this variant have been detected and Public Health England has said there is no evidence to suggest it is more transmissible.

The new strain has a “strange combination of mutations” and has been classified as a variant under investigation.

This means more testing and tracing is being conducted into the new “triple mutant” variant.

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The current rate of coronavirus per 100,000 people is 21.6.

There are 76 lower-tier local authority areas which currently have rates beyond this level.

Bolton has the highest rate of any area over the past seven days, with more than double the next highest rate seen in Blackburn with Darwen.

People from Bolton are now unable to travel to Scotland as the nation attempts to prevent a surge of the Indian variant in the country, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

Several surge testing and vaccination clinics have been introduced and extended across parts of Bolton as health officials in the region grapple to get rising rates under control.

All 76 areas in the UK which are currently above the UK average, and therefore have seen Covid cases rise in the past seven days, include:

  • Bolton: 985 cases – 342.5 per 100,000
  • Blackburn with Darwen: 240 – 160.3
  • Bedford: 214 – 123.5
  • Glasgow City: 696 – 109.9
  • East Renfrewshire: 97 – 101.5
  • Derry City and Strabane: 153 – 101.1
  • Kirklees: 324 – 73.7
  • Midlothian: 52 – 56.2
  • Hounslow: 139 – 51.2
  • Leicester: 180 – 50.8
  • Mid Ulster: 74 – 49.8
  • East Dunbartonshire: 52 – 47.9
  • South Lanarkshire: 147 – 45.9
  • Manchester: 245 – 44.3
  • Causeway Coast and Glens: 63 – 43.5
  • Bury: 83 – 43.5
  • North Tyneside: 88 – 42.3
  • Luton: 90 – 42.2
  • Leeds: 328 – 41.4
  • Moray: 39 – 40.7
  • Sheffield: 237 – 40.5
  • Newcastle upon Tyne: 121 – 40
  • Newry, Mourne and Down: 72 – 39.7
  • Rochdale: 88 – 39.6
  • Fife: 146 – 39.1
  • North Lincolnshire: 67 – 38.9
  • Calderdale: 82 – 38.8
  • Bradford: 207 – 38.3
  • North Lanarkshire: 123 – 36
  • Trafford: 85 – 35.8
  • Clackmannanshire: 18 – 34.9
  • Middlesbrough: 49 – 34.8
  • Stirling: 32 – 34
  • Wigan: 111 – 33.8
  • Central Bedfordshire: 97 – 33.6
  • West Berkshire: 53 – 33.4
  • Doncaster: 103 – 33
  • Hillingdon: 99 – 32.3
  • Blackpool: 44 – 31.6
  • Lancashire: 381 – 31.2
  • Ealing: 106 – 31
  • North Ayrshire: 41 – 30.4
  • Kingston upon Thames: 54 – 30.4
  • Newport: 45 – 29.1
  • Perth and Kinross: 44 – 29
  • Wakefield: 99 – 28.4
  • Harrow: 71 – 28.3
  • Greenwich: 81 – 28.1
  • Sefton: 77 – 27.9
  • Renfrewshire: 50 – 27.9
  • Croydon: 108 – 27.9
  • Stockport: 81 – 27.6
  • Barnsley: 68 – 27.5
  • City of Edinburgh: 142 – 27.1
  • Rotherham: 71 – 26.8
  • Reading: 43 – 26.6
  • Peterborough: 53 – 26.2
  • Antrim and Newtownabbey: 37 – 25.8
  • West Lothian: 47 – 25.7
  • Fermanagh and Omagh: 30 – 25.6
  • Salford: 66 – 25.5
  • Nottinghamshire: 211 – 25.5
  • Falkirk: 41 – 25.5
  • Slough: 38 – 25.4
  • Nottingham: 83 – 24.9
  • Lambeth: 81 – 24.8
  • Brent: 80 – 24.3
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon: 51 – 23.6
  • East Riding of Yorkshire: 80 – 23.4
  • Portsmouth: 50 – 23.3
  • Tameside: 52 – 23
  • Hammersmith and Fulham: 42 – 22.7
  • Dudley: 73 – 22.7
  • Rutland: 9 – 22.5
  • Belfast: 77 – 22.4
  • Herefordshire, County of: 42 – 21.8

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