How are cases spreading in the UK and how are we trying to slow the spread?
Of England’s 315 local regions, 16 saw an increase in case rates and 299 saw a decline, during the seven days to February 12.
Middlesbrough has the highest rate in England, with 449 new cases recorded in the seven days to February 12, the equivalent of 318.5 cases per 100,000 people.
That’s a drop of 356.8 cases per 100,000 people in seven days as of Feb.5.
Of the 16 areas that show a weekly increase, the top five are:
- Copeland (159.9 to 247.9)
- Exeter (30.4 to 79.1)
- West Lindsey (84.7 to 128.6)
- Newark & Sherwood (215.6 to 255.7)
- Lincoln (91.6 to 125.9).
The UK has become the first Western country to start administering the coronavirus vaccine, and the government is hoping mass vaccination could help slow the rate of infection, especially among vulnerable elderly people.
A total of 17,465,127 vaccinations against Covid-19 had taken place in the UK between December 8 and February 19 according to provisional UK government data, including the first and second doses.
Of these, 16,875,536 were the first dose of the vaccine, while 589,591 received a second dose.
A total of 250 active hospital sites, 89 vaccination centers and around 1,200 local vaccination sites – including primary care networks, community pharmacy sites and mobile teams – have been set up to ensure that every person at risk easy access to a vaccination center, whatever the situation. of where they live.
Some 100 million Oxford shots have been ordered by the government, of which 40 million are expected to be deployed by March. The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency also approved the Moderna vaccine for use on January 8, which will be delivered in the spring.
But what about the new strain?
Studies have suggested that the Oxford / Astrazeneca vaccine is only 10% effective against the South African strain, but Professor Jonathan Van Tam said the variant is unlikely to become dominant.
The news comes as scientists have discovered that the Kent coronavirus variant is mutating to mimic the South African variant, which could make current vaccines less effective.
Surge testing in areas of Manchester, including Moss Side and Fallowfield, began from February 9 to combat the spread of the Kent variant, after four cases of two unconnected households were discovered. Door-to-door testing will take place for those who cannot make it to the testing centers, as well as testing for those working in the area.
There have also been 55 cases of a new lineage in Liverpool which appears to be a mutation of the very first ‘A’ strain of the virus, which now carries E484K along with other changes that could make it more transmissible. It has been designated as a “variant under investigation”.
However, Nick Loman, professor of microbial genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Birmingham, said it was unlikely that the new variants could outperform the less dangerous UK variant.
How has the coronavirus spread around the world?
At the end of December 2019, Chinese authorities sent a public alert warning that “pneumonia of unknown cause” had been identified in Wuhan, in central China.
Some 10 days later, on January 7, scientists announced that a new coronavirus was behind the outbreak – quickly adding that it then did not appear to be spreading between humans.