University of Warwick’s Dr Mike Tildesley has said more national restrictions are needed, with the current trajectory likely to put nearly everywhere in Tier 2 before Christmas.
Dr Tildesley who sits on the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) told the BBC’s Today Programme that we are seeing the R number is greater than 1 everywhere, and in a sense some kind of national lockdown, a circuit-breaker, or something along those lines, would actually have more effect in those parts of the country that have not yet progressed into Tier 2.
“So really we need to move away from these regional firefighting techniques to try to move to something more national.“
Meanwhile the spread of the coronavirus continues to increase across all parts of England with cases doubling every nine days, according to a new study by Imperial College, putting pressure on the government to introduce more drastic lockdown restrictions.
The infection rate is rising in all age groups with the highest spread of the disease in the northwest of England and Yorkshire and the Humber region, Imperial found.
The researchers calculated the reproduction “R” number of COVID-19 infections in England, which measures how many people an infected person will pass the disease to, is at 1.6, indicating the epidemic is growing.
“These interim findings paint a concerning picture of the situation in England, where we’re seeing a nation-wide increase in infection prevalence, which we know will lead to more hospitalisations and loss of life,” said Paul Elliott, the chair in epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial.
“Now more than ever we must all work together to curb further spread of the virus and avoid subsequent overwhelming of the health service.”
Britain should act sooner rather than later if it is going to follow Germany and France and take nationwide steps to slow a second wave of the coronavirus, said Steven Riley, author of an Imperial College study into the spread of the disease.
“I think we need decide to if we’re going to end up using those restrictions that have been brought in elsewhere in Europe today and yesterday. And if we’re if we’re going to do that, then we should think about timing. And sooner is better than later for these,” Riley, a professor of infectious disease dynamics, told the BBC.
The study, which involved testing more than 85,000 volunteers, found 128 per 10,000 people were infected in England in the two weeks ending Oct. 25, compared to 60 per 10,000 in the same period ending Oct. 5.