Lockdown measures across the UK are slowly easing, but with contingency measures such as wearing face masks, and the possibility for local lockdowns if cases spike. Some areas of England have been hit the hardest by the virus, seeing more than 40,000 cases of coronavirus. And today, 123 death from COVID-10 were confirmed in the UK – the highest in some weeks.
This has led some to criticise Prime Minister Boris Johnson for lifting lockdown measures too early, with Northern areas behind London when it comes to the virus.
In June, Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham and Liverpool’s Steve Rotheram said the lockdown measures were easing “too soon” for the North.
Mr Burnham, speaking on BBC Breakfast said: “I warned, together with the mayor of the Liverpool city region, a few weeks ago when the first relaxation of lockdown came, that it was too soon for the North West.
“We were a few weeks behind London and the South East and our view was more time was needed to bring the infection down here.”
Coronavirus cases MAPPED: The areas with the WORST COVID-19 rates
Mr Rotheram echoed this on Twitter in June writing the rise of the R rate for the North West was a “worrying development” and “a warning sign that must be taken seriously”.
Another set of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the death rate from coronavirus in the North West was triple the mortality rate of London in June.
The map shows in London throughout June one in 20 fatalities in the capital were caused by COVID-19, however, in the North West as many as one in eight deaths were caused by the virus.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the Office for National Statistics, said: “Following the peak recorded in April, in June we have seen a large decrease in the proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 across all English regions and Wales.
“London experienced the largest decrease over the period from having more than one in two deaths in April which involved COVID-19 to only about one in 20 deaths in June that were related to the coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases MAPPED: The North West has the most cases at 44,678
Coronavirus cases MAPPED: In some parts of the North the infection rate is at 4,000 cases per million
“The South West region continued to have the lowest proportion of COVID-19 deaths in June with about one in 30 deaths involving the coronavirus.
“While the North West had the highest where one in eight deaths in June were COVID-19 related.”
Areas in the North are being closely monitored with cases almost reaching levels Leicester was at before local lockdown was enforced.
The North West has the most number of cases across the whole of England, with 44,678 cases in total according to the latest Government data.
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Total coronavirus cases across the UK
North West – 44,678
South East – 34,873
London – 34,791
Yorkshire and The Humber – 31,077
West Midlands – 26,479
East of England – 24,337
East Midlands – 22,820
North East – 15,263
South West – 13,020
Now, statistics from the King’s College tracker app shows the North of England is most at risk of a resurgence of coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases MAPPED: In June Mayors in the North warned lockdown measures were easing too soon
The app reports the number of people reporting symptoms has been rising steadily since the first week of July.
The tracker app reveals the infection rate in Britain stands at 725 cases per million, however in some parts of the North it is at 4,000 cases per million.
The Telegraph reports data scientists have created a watchlist of areas of concern in the UK, and nine out of 10 of them are in the North of England.
Worst affected is Blackburn with Darwen, then Wrexham, Rotherham and Kirklees and Blackpool.
Coronavirus cases MAPPED: Testing has ramped up across the country
The only area in the list which is not in the North is Neath Port Talbot in Wales.
Blackburn with Darwen cases have increased to a similar level as Leicester, and Public Health England has announced it is one of two “areas of intervention” in the UK.
The Government has now announced further lockdown easing measures are being postponed in Blackburn with Darwen and Luton.
- Indoor gyms and other indoor sporting centres that were due to reopen from this Saturday, July 25
- Bowling alleys
- Skating rinks
- Conference venues
Health officials in Blackburn with Darwen had said a phased lockdown could happen if the virus rise was not halted by Monday.
Council leader Mohammed Khan said: “We feel that accelerating our control measures in this way will assist us to move out of having higher Covid-19 rates even faster- we are grateful for the government’s help in our local plans on this”
Mr Khan added the decision to delay the reopening of council leisure facilities would run alongside new “localised prevention measures”.
He said: “We feel that accelerating our control measures in this way will assist us to move out of having higher covid rates even faster – we are grateful for the government’s help in our local plans on this.”