Tier 6 lockdown restrictions have been widely expected by many as experts claim not enough is being done to tackle coronavirus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested the new UK covid variant may be more deadly than the first, however, some doctors said it is unclear if this is the case. With authorities and the medical community split, many are calling for tougher measures to save lives – but which areas are most likely to see tighter rules.
Another 610 covid-related deaths within 28 days of a positive test result were recorded in the UK on Sunday, January 24.
This rise brought the total number of deaths to 97,939 across the country.
In addition, 30,004 more people have tested positive for the virus bringing the overall total to 3,647,463.
Up to and including January 24, 6,353,321 people have now had their first Covid jab and 469,660 have had their second dose.
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Doctors across England have written to the country’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty urging the Government to halve the gap between the Pfizer vaccine doses to six weeks.
The British Medical Association (BMA) claims reducing the gap from 12 weeks to would be in the best interests of patients.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that the gap should be a maximum of six weeks.
But the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has opted to delay a second Pfizer dose for up to 12 weeks, to ensure more people get the first jab sooner.
The UK is the only country known to be increasing the period between the two doses by the 12-week duration.
On January 22, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the new variant in the UK may be more deadly than the fist.
Speaking from Downing Street, the PM said: “There is some evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.”
He added: “All current evidence continues to show that the current vaccines remain effective against the old coronavirus variant and this new one.”
England’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said, however, the data is “not yet strong” in support of the variant being more infectious.
Sir Patrick said: “I want to stress that there’s a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it, but it obviously is a concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility.”
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Express.co.uk has analysed which areas of England are most likely to move up to tier 6 restrictions according to the Covid ZOE Covid Symptom Study app.
The coronavirus dashboard compiled by ZOE Covid Study reveals risk levels for areas across England.
According to the data, including data up to January 23, a total of 24 places around England have shown a fairly constant rate of coronavirus in the past week.
In these areas, it is likely measures will be escalated so as to effectively reduce the prevalence of the virus in each place.
The following areas have shown evidence of prevalence rates remaining fairly constant, rather than decreasing, which may prompt officials to implement tougher measures in a bid to curb the rate of infection in these areas.
- Liverpool City Region
- Tees Valley (LA5)
- South Yorkshire
- York and North Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire
- The Humber
- Derby and Derbyshire
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- Birmingham and Black Country
- Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
- Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
- Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
- Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
- Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset
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Tougher restrictions may also be rolled out based upon how close NHS regions are to being overburdened.
The highest hospital bed occupancy rate as of January 23 is in London with a rate of 50.62 percent.
The South East is the only region to have a rate above 40 percent but below 50 percent.
The regions of East of England, West Midlands, East Midlands and North West have hospital bed occupancy rates of 30 to 40 percent.
The lowest hospital bed occupancy rates stand at 23.55 percent in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.