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More restrictions expected for second wave

The death toll could be too much to bear

There was very little good news coming out of a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic coming out of Downing Street this morning, as the country prepares for more protocols to control the disease.

Summer feels like a distant memory now that the second wave of COVID-19 is hitting the country.

A three-tier programme is expected to be announced by the Prime Minster later today, and is expected to bring new restrictions.

Jonathan Van-Tam

Three government health experts spoke at this morning’s news conference: Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer; Steve Powis, NHS England’s medical director; and Dr Jane Eddleston, Greater Manchester Medical Lead and an intensive care consultant.

With no cure or vaccine available, as infections increase, if new measures aren’t introduced “the death toll will be too great to bear,” Powis said.

Steve Powis

The health experts outlined the current situation at the conference, showing that the pandemic is continuing to intensify at an alarming rate, with the North West region including Liverpool and Manchester leading the epidemic.

In fact, there are as many people in hospital now with COVID-19 3500, as there were when the first lockdown happened in March.

But, even though the North is leading this increase, it would be wrong to surmise that the South of England isn’t also at increasing risk. The epidemic has clearly picked up pace earlier in the South than when the disease started.

Rates are changing upwards across the UK.

So although the geographic divide is clear at the moment, especially between the North and the South, the trend is showing that all areas are worsening at an alarming rate.

There has also been a steep rise in the number of elderly people being admitted to hospital. The steepest rise is in patients in the 85 and older age group.

The Prime Minister was in a Cobra meeting this morning to discuss the new measures.

The Prime Minister is due to announcer changes in the commons at 3:30 this afternoon, and will hold a televised press conference at 6:00.pm.

Nightingale hospitals in the North of England (Manchester, Sutherland and Harrogate) have been asked to prepare for an increase in hospital admissions. These are the emergency field hospitals that were created to deal with the first wave of the disease.

New lockdown restriction will be introduced, with Liverpool expected to get the strictest new protocols — Tier 3.

To top it all, the effects of Long COVID are now starting to appear.

Although Liverpool and Manchester have been getting a lot of attention for their rates of infection, Nottingham is actually the area with the highest percentage of cases.

The only good news is that children under the age of 16 are not being badly affected, and do not appear to be passing on the disease as they do with influenza. The implication is that schools are relatively safe.

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