Essex: 'Major incident' declared as COVID-19 cases rise
Coronavirus cases in the UK have continued to rise as the true second wave takes hold in the midst of a bitterly cold winter. Local leaders have warned the pandemic has reached “alarming levels”, with council representatives in Liverpool – where cases have almost trebled in the past two week – calling for a third national lockdown to contain the spread. In a statement, the city’s acting mayor Wendy Simon said: “The stark reality is that today this virulent new strain of the virus is very much on the rise and we need to act now to prevent a crisis that will unleash even more pain and anguish.”
In the last seven days, 341,946 people tested positive for the deadly virus.
This is up 34.8 percent on the previous week, which was 31 percent on the previous seven day period.
The UK has seen daily Covid-29 cases reach more than 50,000 for five days now, with deaths within 28 days of a positive test also rising.
Some 4,091 people have died in the last week, up 20.2 percent on the previous week. That’s an extra 687 people in the last seven days.
READ MORE: Boris Johnson warns UK could face even TOUGHER measures as cases soar
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The rising cases come after a new strain of the coronavirus was discovered in the South East of England, sparking the original introduction of the Tier 4 restrictions.
The new strain is believed to transmit faster and is most prevalent in London and the South East, where hospitals have become stretched.
However, the strain is now spreading from south to north, leading to increasing pressure on the NHS across England.
Some have now called for the introduction of a Tier 5 – with even tougher lockdown rules. A Whitehall source told Express.co.uk in December that this steppe was being considered.
When is the next tier review date?
Boris Johnson’s Government last made changes to the tier system on December 30, when they upgraded swathes of the UK to Tier 3 or Tier 4.
The update left just the Isle of Scilly in Tier 1, with no areas under Tier 2 restrictions.
The tiers are reviewed every two weeks, so we can expect the next review on. January 13
Whether or not we will hear from the Prime Minister, or whether the review will mean an introduction of Tier 5, at this point is unclear.
Tier 5 lockdown: When will Tier 5 be announced? [EXPLAINER]
Tier 5 rules: What would Tier 5 look like? What restrictions could be [ANALYSIS]
Covid cases near me: Who’s at risk of going into tier 5? Rising cases [MAP]
But speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC this morning, Mr Johnson signalled current anti-Covid measures were likely to get tougher.
He said: “What we are doing now is using the tiering system, which is a very tough system… and, alas, probably about to get tougher to keep things under control. But, we will review it.”
He added: “And we have the prospect of vaccines coming down the track in their tens of millions.
“And that, I think, is something that should keep people going in what I predicted, back on your show in in October, will be a very bumpy period right now.
“It is bumpy and it’s going to be bumpy.”
Speaking on the same show, a health expert insisted it was “pretty clear” tougher restrictions were needed.
Asked if Tier 4 restrictions were enough, Professor Sir Mark Walport, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said: “It’s the Tier 4 restrictions, it’s obeying them.
“It is thinking about breaking essentially every possible route of transmission we possibly can.
“Those are the things that are absolutely necessary and it is pretty clear we’re going to need more.”
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