Coronavirus cases in certain parts of the UK are “getting out of control”, ministers have warned, as the second wave continues to surge across the country.
New daily Covid-19 cases reached above 17,000 on Friday – more than three-times the first wave peak in April – bringing the total number above 550,000.
Outbreaks in the north of England have fuelled the latest spike in Covid-19 cases, prompting the government to reintroduce containment measures for people throughout the country.
Gillian Keegan, minister for skills and apprenticeships, said the country is in an “unbelievably serious situation” and the government will have to act to bring cases under control.
The latest government figures reveal that several other areas around the country are also seeing an uptick in new cases, according to The Independent’s analysis.
Areas in Northern Ireland and the north of England have seen the highest infection rates over the last seven days, with Derry, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool all seeing more than 700 new cases per 100,000 people.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said local restrictions were part of the government’s approach of “targeted interventions” and has not rule out the possibility of another nation-wide lockdown.
The UK is one of several European countries experiencing a severe second wave of the deadly virus, with both France and Spain experiencing new daily records in recent days.
While the UK was behind those countries to see infections initially spread, its first wave turned out to be more serious in terms of both cumulative case numbers and deaths.
A similar pattern appears to be occurring for the second wave, with the UK once again behind France and Spain. If the UK mirrors the trends of the other two countries, the second wave could continue to get significantly worse.
The European head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Hans Kluge, warned that countries need to “move beyond biomedical science” and embrace “courage and empathy” in order to overcome the pandemic.
“Covid-19 is urging us to move beyond biomedical science in our response,” Kluge said.
“We have an opportunity to maximise our community insights into behaviour, to integrate real community participation into public health policy.”
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