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‘Dangerous New Phase’ Says Professor as Further Sharp Rises in Covid Infections Seen

Published on: 29 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 29 Dec, 2020

The number of new Covid-19 infections in Guildford Borough and across Surrey and the South East is continuing to accelerate, latest statistics show. The increase is being associated with a new strain of the virus first identified in Kent.

Hospital admissions in the South East region have also increased by the biggest margin yet, in the second wave. There were 481 Covid related admissions in the South East (population 9.2 million) in the past week, up from 396 in the previous week.

But Covid-related deaths locally remain at a relatively low level. No deaths in the past seven days had Covid-19 entered on the death certificate; this might be the result of the Christmas holidays.

One scientist and government adviser, Andrew Hayward, a professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London, has said that decisive national action is needed to tackle the spread of Covid and prevent a “catastrophe” in the new year.

Prof Hayward, a member of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), told the BBC that we are entering a “dangerous new phase” and that tougher measures than those already in place in England may be necessary to deal with rising numbers of infections.

England’s tier restrictions are due to be reviewed on Wednesday.

Infection rate map. Seven–day rolling rate of new cases. – Source gov.uk

The gov.uk infection map shows the higher level of infection spreading out from Kent to the east and London to the north. Guildford and Waverley boroughs have the lowest rates in Surrey.

Within Guildford borough there is a wide range of infection rates (measured in numbers of new infection reported in the previous seven days per 100,00 of population) and local spikes of a dozen or so new cases can cause the rates to change significantly week-to-week. But the overall trend is sharply upwards.

See also: Local Covid-19 Stats

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