Bradford and Doncaster could be next coronavirus hotspots forced into local lockdown, warns bonking boffin Neil Ferguson

Bradford and Doncaster could be the next coronavirus hotspots to go into local lockdown, bonking boffin Neil Ferguson has warned.

These northern spots may end up following Leicester's lead and roll back to more severe restrictions if the killer bug cases continue to rise there.

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Imperial College London's Professor Ferguson used to advise the Government until resigning after breaking lockdown.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's inevitable we will (have further local outbreaks), we are relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up and that's a very variable process."

Asked about Bradford and Doncaster, he said: "Those are areas, where not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 of the population, which is the relevant measure, so they're clearly of concern." 

In recent PHE data, Bradford is dealing with 1,459 cases, at a rate of 271 per 100,000 people.

And Doncaster has 950 cases, with a rate of 306 new infections per 100,000 people.

Yesterday we told how ten towns and counties have seen a spike in cases in the past two weeks.

Health officials are keeping a close eye on these hotspots threatening the UK's fight against the bug.

Leicester city council yesterday reported 944 new cases emerged in two weeks, with Public Health England data earlier suggesting a rise of 80 between June 13 – June 26.

CASES RISING

It comes as the UK has been seeing a general trend of falling cases, after months of lockdown restrictions.

Most areas of the country had been reporting a steady decline in infections, but since mid-June, these 10 spots have seen a rise.

A number of northern towns and their infection rates are worrying experts, with The Times reporting health officials warning Leicester is a "tinderbox" for a rise in cases.

Rates of infection in the city are now three times that of the town with the next highest rate.


And as cases fail to drop in line with the rest of the country, 10 per cent of tests are currently coming back positive – five times the national rate.

Non-essential shops in the city shut yesterday in a local lockdown, and schools will close for most pupils from Thursday – taking it back to the more severe restrictions of May.

The Department of Health said as of 5pm on Monday, 43,730 people had died from coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 155 on the previous day.


 

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