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Should North be in Level Three?

Every local government in the north of England saw their Covid-19 infection rate drop last week, according to official figures that add to growing fears that millions of people have been needlessly forced to live under the toughest Tier 3 curbs.

With the exception of Liverpool, Cheshire, Cumbria and parts of Yorkshire, the rest of the north is not allowed to visit restaurants and pubs.

But the Public Health England weekly surveillance report reveals that only nine authorities saw a spike in infection rates during the seven-day period ending Nov. 29, the last full week of the UK lockdown.

None of the boroughs were to the north, and the areas with an increasing number of diagnosed cases were scattered across London and Kent, as well as Southend in Essex and Bracknell Forest in Berkshire.

As many as 14 of the 20 authorities who saw the greatest dives in infections were in the north, including nine in Tier Three. Cases in Redcar and Cleveland, which were struck with the toughest measures when England’s national lockdown ended on December 2, fell 53 percent to 141.5 cases per 100,000 people.

It was followed by Gateshead, in Newcastle, where infections plummeted 46 percent to 149.5 per 100,000, and Leicestershire, where they plummeted 45 percent to 148.1 per 100,000.

Experts warned that while the receding Covid-19 infections were a “ great sign, ” ministers were unlikely to row back on draconian curbs until Christmas was over, as fears the virus might spread would now spike in cases between 23 and 27 December when restrictions are relaxed.

MPs have demanded a relaxation of the ‘authoritarian’ layered system, warning that we are ‘so far down the rabbit hole that we have forgotten we even entered it’.

The tumbling cases are a new ray of hope for the country and come after Britain became the first country in the world to approve a Covid vaccine this week. The largest ever vaccination campaign in the UK, involving the NHS and the military, kicks off Tuesday.

WHICH TIER 3 AREAS SAW THE BIGGEST INFECTIONS?

Local authority

Red car

Gateshead

Leicestershire

NE Lincolnshire

Middlesbrough

Hull

Newcastle

Derbyshire

Bristol

Salford

% change

-52.5%

-46.3%

-45.2%

-44.6%

-44.5%

-44.4%

-43.3%

-42.8%

-42.7%

]-42.1%

Infection rate

141.5

149.5

148.1

206.8

172.4

225.6

170.7

126.8

172.2

143

Of the strongest decreases in infections in Tier 3 areas, North East Lincolnshire had the fourth highest decrease, with data showing infections declined 44.6 percent to 206.8 per 100,000 people in the week ending 29 November.

Middlesbrough followed, with infections dropping 44.5 percent to 172.3 per 100,000, and Hull saw infections drop 44.4 percent to 255.6 per 100,000.

Ministers have refused to disclose the exact criteria for the tier system, prompting experts to warn against a ‘finger in the air’ method of assigning tiers.

Officials say decisions are made based on overall infection rates in areas, in addition to changes in infection rates, infections among the over-60s most vulnerable to the virus, and pressure on the NHS.

The current set of restrictions will be reviewed on December 16, with housing minister Robert Jenrick suggesting some local authorities may be moved down ahead of the late November Christmas rush.

The Northeast – which was first subjected to tightened curbs in October during the original tier system which was hastily demolished despite evidence that it worked – was home to the first, second and fifth highest drop in infections in Tier 3 areas .

In England, the highest overall drop in the number of infections was recorded in Cumbria, which is currently in the second rankings. Infections fell 56.6 percent to 67.2 per 100,000.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – one of the few places on Level 1 – had the second highest drop, at 53.7 percent to 26.2 per 100,000.

But Redcar and Cleveland, in Tier Three, saw the third highest drop.

The largest increase in the number of Covid-19 cases was recorded in Bracknell Forest, where they rose 38.5 percent to 88.1 per 100,000. It was followed by Medway, where they were up 22.1 percent to 537.4 per 100,000, and Bromley, where they tapped up 11.8 percent to 142.9 per 100,000.

Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist from the University of East Anglia who has written a scientific study on the impact of the levels, told MailOnline that it is “very likely” that many councils in the North could soon fall into Tier Two.

But he warned that it was “hard to make those decisions now when we’ve been in a national lockdown for four weeks and we have Christmas coming.”

“I can certainly see an argument that the Northwest has crashed very effectively over the past few weeks and that it is nowhere near as big of a problem as it was,” he said.

And hopefully – if it wasn’t for Christmas – I think people would be most comfortable dropping it.

WHICH AREAS SAW THE BIGGEST DROPS IN COVID-19 INFECTIONS?

Local authority

Cumbria (T2)

Cornwall (T1)

Redcar (T3)

Isle of Wight (T1)

Wireless (T2)

York (T2)

Plymouth (T2)

Gateshead (T3)

Herefordshire (T2)

Leicestershre (T3)

% drop

-56.6%

-53.7%

-52.5%

-49.4%

-47.4%

-46.8%

-46.5%

-46.3%

-46%

-45.2%

Infection rate

67.2

26.1

141.5

28.2

59.3

67.4

63.3

149.5

63.3

148.1

The above data is from Public Health England’s surveillance report for the week ended Nov. 29. It has been compared to the previous week to determine the percentage change.

WHICH AREAS SAWN COVID-19 INFECTIONS?

Local authority

Bracknell (T2)

Medway (T3)

Bromley (T2)

Kingston (T2)

Kent (T3)

Lewisham (T2)

Haringey (T2)

Southend (T2)

Camden (T2)

% increase

+ 38.5%

+ 22.1%

+ 11.8%

+ 7.8%

+ 6.7%

+ 6.6%

+ 6%

+ 3.5%

+ 1.7%

Infection rate

88.1

537.4

142.9

163.9

289.7

06.3

’38, 5

128.3

89.6

The above data is from Public Health England’s surveillance report for the week ended Nov. 29. It has been compared to the previous week to determine the percentage change.

“I think there might be a little change on December 16, but most of it will happen, I think, after we’re over Christmas and people relax a little bit – we’ll find out if Christmas will be Armageddon too.”

Professor Jonathan Ball, an expert on emerging viruses at the University of Nottingham, called on ministers to ensure that the tiered system is applied ‘fairly’ across England.

“While I appreciate that it is a complex set of measures that the government looks at when deciding on the levels, they should be careful about places that are treated differently,” he told MailOnline.

‘The obvious case is London compared to the Northwest and Northeast – they are not that different.

The government came out and said they had more capacity in hospitals in London, making the virus less of a threat. But it’s hard to sell against people with similar infections, but at different levels. ‘

Professor Lawrence Young, an infectious disease expert at Warwick Medical School, also warned that much of the government’s determination is about “protecting the NHS.”

“Part of the patchyness is that the government is looking at what’s happening locally with the NHS and measuring the temperature,” he said.

But according to the latest data from the Department of Health, daily hospital admissions of Covid-19 and the number of people hospitalized with the virus are declining in the north of England.

In the Northwest, the number of daily Covid-19 admissions in a month has nearly halved from an average peak of 305 on Oct. 27 to 185.4 on Nov. 27. The region’s hospitals are also emptying Covid-19 patients, at 18 percent. fewer Covid-19 patients in 23 days from a peak of 2,974.6 in beds on Nov. 6 to 2,426.7 on Nov. 27.

It’s a similar picture of a less tense NHS in the Northeast, where daily Covid-19 hospital admissions have nearly halved, from a peak of 397.9 on Nov. 12 to 249.2 on Nov. 27. Covid-19 patient numbers have also dropped by 16 per day. cents from 3,290.3 on Nov. 18 to 2,768.6 on Nov. 29.

And in the Midlands, daily admissions for virus patients are also down 23 percent from 382 on Nov. 11, when they peaked, to 285.4 on Nov. 27. Covid-19 patient numbers are also down five percent from a peak of 3,112.7 on Nov. 22 to 2,860.7 on Nov. 29.

NORTHWEST: Pressure on the NHS in this region is diminishing, with the daily number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients nearly halving from an average peak of 305 per day on Oct. 27 to 185.4 on Nov. 27

NORTHWEST: Pressure on the NHS in this region is diminishing, with the daily number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients nearly halving from an average peak of 305 per day on Oct. 27 to 185.4 on Nov. 27

NORTHWEST: Pressure on the NHS in this region is diminishing, with the daily number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients nearly halving from an average peak of 305 per day on Oct. 27 to 185.4 on Nov. 27

NORTH EAST AND YORKSHIRE: Hospitals in this region can also afford to relax, as the number of daily Covid-19 admissions also drops by nearly half from an average peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

NORTH EAST AND YORKSHIRE: Hospitals in this region can also afford to relax, as the number of daily Covid-19 admissions also drops by nearly half from an average peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

NORTH EAST AND YORKSHIRE: Hospitals in this region can also afford to relax, as the number of daily Covid-19 admissions also drops by nearly half from an average peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

MIDLANDS: The NHS in this region is also starting to see a drop in hospital admissions. They've dropped from a peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

MIDLANDS: The NHS in this region is also starting to see a drop in hospital admissions. They've dropped from a peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

MIDLANDS: The NHS in this region is also starting to see a drop in hospital admissions. They’ve dropped from a peak of 397.9 on November 12 to 249.2 on November 27

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