More than 500,000 people in North Wales will be plunged into a local lockdown amid a spike in infections, the country’s health minister announced tonight.
From 6pm on Thursday, residents of Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham will be banned from mixing indoors with other households.
People will also not be allowed to enter of leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as work or education.
The recent rise in coronavirus cases has been blamed on people socialising indoors.
From 6pm on Thursday, residents of Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Wrexham will be banned from mixing indoors with other households
Health minister Vaughan Gething said: ‘Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in coronavirus cases in four north Wales local authority areas – in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and Conwy.
‘These are largely linked to people socialising indoors and are the pattern of transmission similar to what we have seen in South Wales.
‘We have worked closely with local authority leaders and the police in North Wales and we all agree about the need to take swift action to control and the spread of the virus.
‘Large parts of Wales will now be subject to local restrictions but I want to be clear – this is not a national lockdown. These are a series of local restrictions to respond to rises in cases in individual areas.
In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:
- Boris Johnson was lampooned as he apologised for getting lockdown rules in the North East wrong — hours after another minister admitted she did not know if friends can meet in pub gardens;
- The Prime Minister was desperately trying to quell Tory mutinies over coronavirus lockdown, the university shambles and 10pm pubs curfew today amid claims angry MPs are mounting a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to get rid of him;
- Mr Johnson is due to address the nation at a press conference tomorrow with medical and science chiefs Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance;
- Local lockdowns could be imposed within 24 hours of a coronavirus outbreak thanks to real-time data from the NHS app, it was claimed;
- Middle-aged customers are being ‘humiliated’ by ‘app disciples’ at pubs and restaurants banning them from going in without the NHS Covid-19 app – despite government rules saying it is not compulsory.
People will also not be allowed to enter of leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as work or education (Conwy Castle pictured)
‘It’s always difficult to make the decision to impose restrictions but we hope that these measures will make a positive difference – just as we have seen in Caerphilly and Newport, where local residents have pulled together and followed the rules.
‘It is important we all work together and support each other. This isn’t just about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting each other.’
These rules are in addition to nationwide restrictions such as a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants and a requirement to wear face coverings in public indoor areas.
Britain records 7,143 more coronavirus cases and 71 deaths as infections rise 45% in a week and deaths in England and Wales jump 40% over the same period
ByLuke Andrews For Mailonline
Britain today recorded another 7,143 coronavirus cases and 71 deaths as the outbreak continues to grow with both infections and fatalities spiking more than 40 per cent in a week.
The UK’s weekly infection rate now currently stands at 64 cases per 100,000 people — a figure which is rising but not as quickly as government advisers warned last week when they made the startling projection of 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October. For comparison, 4,926 Britons tested positive last Tuesday.
But confirmed Covid-19 cases are still nowhere near levels witnessed during the darkest weeks of the pandemic in March and April, when more than 100,000 Britons were estimated to be catching the virus every day. Number 10’s lacklustre testing policy meant millions of cases were never counted.
Deaths can vary day-by-day and are normally lower on Sundays and Mondays because of a recording lag at the weekend — just 13 were announced yesterday. But when taking into account the rolling-average, the trend has risen upwards up around 23 victims a day last Tuesday to an average of 35 today. The 71 fatalities posted today is the highest since 97 on July 1.
It comes after an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report released today revealed 139 people succumbed to the life-threatening disease in England and Wales in the week ending September 18, up 40 per cent from the 99 in the previous seven days.
This marks the third week in a row Covid-19 fatalities have risen after reaching a record low of 78 at the beginning of September. For comparison, 900 people were dying from the virus every day in April.
Data shows there have been 491 Covid-19 hospital admissions in the North East in the past month, compared to 361 in the Midlands, 264 in London, 109 in the South East, 72 in the East and 52 in South West. Only the North West of England, with 552 admissions, has had more than the NE during that time. Graphs show how the number of hospital patients with Covid-19 in each different region of England has changed since the pandemic began
The weekly rise may confirm experts’ fears that climbing infections in recent weeks would eventually translate into more deaths, although it is too early to tell for definite. Cases have been on the up since July 4, when hundreds of thousands of Britons flocked to pubs, bars and restaurants to celebrate ‘Super Saturday’ after they were finally allowed to re-open following months of being shut to contain the life-threatening virus.
Until recently, hospitalisations and deaths had remained low and stable despite soaring cases — largely because it was mainly young, healthy people driving the transmission. Both have since started to rebound.
However, the number of victims dying every week from the disease is still a far cry from the 8,000-plus weekly deaths at the height of the crisis. The ONS report also shows flu and pneumonia killed eight times more people than Covid-19 in the week ending September 18.
The number of deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales has risen 40 per cent in a week. This graph shows deaths from Covid-19 (red) compared to total deaths (blue) and the average for the past five years (dashed line)
The total number of deaths in the UK remained above the five-year average, this graph reveals, with 259 deaths more than was expected. Statisticians had estimated that deaths may drop below the five-year average as coronavirus sped up the deaths of those that would have died from other causes
Deaths from coronavirus rose in six of the nine regions of England. The North East and London were the only two regions to record fewer overall deaths than the five-year average
Department of Health data shows how the total number of coronavirus victims in the UK currently stands at 42,001. This only takes into account patients who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19. On average, 35 Britons are now succumbing to the life-threatening illness each day.
Only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico, all countries with substantially larger populations, have suffered more fatalities.
Britain has also had 446,156 confirmed cases of coronavirus since recording its first two at the end of January. But the true toll is likely to be at least 6million because hundreds of thousands of infected patients were never tested during the peak of the first wave.
Government data shows 6,087 Britons are now testing positive for the virus every day, on average, up from 4,189 last Tuesday. This had dropped to around 500 at the start of July, when the economy was finally opened up.
Professor Kevin McConway, a statistician at the Open University, said the rise in coronavirus deaths was ‘not too concerning’ yet. But he warned the current rise in infections may not take its true toll on lives for another two or three weeks, due to a lag in the time it takes for Covid-19 patients to fall seriously ill and die.
He said: ‘These figures are not too concerning yet, I’d argue, because the weekly numbers of Covid-related deaths were higher than these levels right up to late July or early August, so this is by no means a large spike in deaths.
How the number of new coronavirus cases announced each day has changed since the first wave of the pandemic, when barely any patients were getting tested for the disease. Top experts believe more than 100,000 cases were actually occurring every day in the spring
There were 2,049 patients being treated for the disease on Sunday, rising from 764 a fortnight ago and 1,319 last week. This figure had been falling for four months straight after peaking at 20,000 in mid-April
‘But the recent rise in the numbers of infections, shown by data from the ONS Infection Survey and the REACT-1 study from Imperial College, did not really get started until late August or early September.
‘If the rise in infections is going to lead to a corresponding rise in numbers of deaths – that seems very likely but we can’t be completely certain yet – that rise mostly won’t have shown up yet.
‘That’s because it takes time, typically several weeks, for an infected person to become ill enough to need hospitalisation and, eventually and sadly, to die.
‘The rise in registered death with Covid on the certificate may well be the first sign of an increase linked to the increase in infections, but we’ll have to wait for a week or two’s more data to see whether and how that rise continues.’
This week’s rise in Covid-19 deaths marks the highest number of deaths from the virus since the week ending August 14, when 139 people succumbed to the disease.
Six out of nine regions in England recorded a rise in coronavirus deaths, with the North West recording the largest number, at 39, and the highest proportion of fatalities involving the disease.
The North West had the largest number of deaths involving coronavirus, at 39, and the highest proportion of deaths involving the disease.
Deaths in private homes rose above the five-year average this week, but remained below it in hospitals. They also dropped below the level for care homes
It was followed by Yorkshire and The Humber, at 21, the West Midlands, at 15, East Midlands, at 14, London, at 13, and South East with 11.
The North East and East of England both recorded eight deaths from coronavirus, while five were recorded in the South West and Wales.
The data showed that deaths involving coronavirus in hospitals almost doubled from 1.6 per cent in the week ending September 11 to 2.5 per cent, and rose in care homes from 1.3 per cent to 1.6 per cent.
Flu and pneumonia killed eight times more people than Covid-19 in the week ending September 18, with 1,197 people succumbing to the respiratory illnesses.
This was up slightly from last week’s figure of 1,125, and more than a third (37 per cent) higher compared to two weeks ago, when the total was 874.
As much as 64 per cent of deaths involving coronavirus occurred in hospital (light green) in the week up to September 18. This graph shows the deaths broken down by place of death
Meanwhile, there were a total of 9,523 deaths from all causes in the week up to September 18, which was 259 more fatalities than would normally be expected at this time of year (9,264).
It is the second week in a row that deaths are above the five-year average, after 9,811 people died in England and Wales last week.
The North East and London were the only two of the nine English regions to record fewer overall deaths than the five-year average.
The West Midlands saw the highest proportion of deaths above the five-year average, at 98 or 10.3 per cent, followed by the South East (6.9 per cent), North West (4.9 per cent), Yorkshire and The Humber (3.8 per cent), East Midlands (2.1 per cent). South West (2 per cent) and East of England (1.2 per cent).
But care homes and hospitals are still recording fewer deaths than they normally would at this time of year. ONS experts explained that Covid-19 likely sped up the deaths of people who would have died of other causes, meaning the year’s fatalities have been front-loaded.
People aged from 75 and over are most likely to die from coronavirus, according to this chart, while very few deaths have been recorded in those aged zero to 44. The charts are split by sex (Male in blue and Female in green)
However, the number of deaths in private homes continued to be higher than the five-year average, with 711 more people dying than average, from a slew of conditions including heart disease, stroke and cancers. It suggests Brits are still reluctant to use healthcare or are struggling to access it because most services are operating at limited capacity.
The ONS also estimates a total of 52,631 people have died from coronavirus in Britain so far. In Scotland, 4,246 people have died from coronavirus since the outbreak began. Northern Ireland has reported 893 deaths from Covid-19 by September 18, meaning a total of 57,113 people have died from the disease in the UK since the outbreak began.
This differs from the Government’s tally of 42,001 because the ONS includes all victims who had the virus mentioned on their death certificates, even if they weren’t diagnosed with the virus or had a confirmed test.
Of all deaths involving coronavirus, data shows that hospitals have recorded 63.4 per cent of the total, or 33,386 fatalities. The second highest tally is in care homes, with 15,562, followed by private homes, 2,502, hospices, 753, and other locations, 428.