Covid-19 infections 'may have risen' at start of current lockdown

Grant Boone
January 22, 2021

England and Scotland announced new restrictions on January 4 to stem a surge in the disease fuelled by a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus, which has led to record numbers of daily deaths and infections this month.

Regarding the date on which deaths actually occurred, not when they were reported, 12 January was confirmed yesterday to have become the deadliest day of the pandemic so far with 1,117.

Elliott told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the current R rate - which represents how many people an infected person will pass the virus on to - was "around 1".

The study found that the virus is growing and the R number - or rate of transmission remains just above 1 - at 1.04.

However, scientists advising Government warned that case levels "remain dangerously high".

While the infections have fallen back from nearly 70,000 daily two weeks ago to under 40,000 this week, hospitals remain under severe pressure and there is concern that some people are not abiding by the lockdown rules.

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The ONS estimated one in 55 people in private households in England had Covid-19 between January 10 and 16, down from one in 50 people for the Christmas period of December 27 to January 2.

The study on 143,000 people, who were randomly selected, looked at the prevalence of coronavirus including in people without symptoms.

Earlier Wednesday, the British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said the ongoing national lockdown must stay in place for the short term amid surging infections. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"The vast majority of the public continues to abide by the rules and do isolate when they are asked", he said.

On Thursday Priti Patel announced that anyone caught breaching lockdown rules and attending a gathering of more than 15 people would face a fine of £800 however, on Thursday evening police broke up a wedding attended by 400 people in north London.

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