Covid cases surge as MPs say follow the rule of six

6 October 2020, 22:33

File photo: Doctors treat a patient suffering from coronavirus on an Intensive Care ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey
File photo: Doctors treat a patient suffering from coronavirus on an Intensive Care ward at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey. Picture: Getty

By Megan White

Coronavirus cases in the UK have continued to surge, with hospital admissions up 25 per cent, as MPs voted in favour of the “rule of six.”

The number of new daily cases soared past 14,500 on Tuesday - up by 2,000 on the previous day - with 76 new deaths, while the country’s Test and Trace system remains in turmoil.

478 people were admitted to hospital on Sunday, the largest daily figure since June 3, when it was 491. It was up from 386 admissions on Saturday.

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More than two-thirds of those were in the North West, North East and Yorkshire.

On Tuesday evening, an overwhelming majority of MPs voted in favour of regulations which enforce the rule of six in England.

The regulations are already in force, with the motion offering a retrospective vote on it.

MPs passed the bill by 287 votes to 17, with a majority of 270.

Three areas – Manchester, Knowsley and Liverpool – all now have a weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases that is now above 500 cases per 100,000 people.

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The new data came days after it was revealed almost 16,000 coronavirus cases went missing after an IT glitch meant there were delays in processing the data.

Downing Street confirmed that as of 9:30am on Tuesday morning, almost two-thirds (63%) of the positive cases had been contacted following the data glitch over the weekend.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the government's assessment of the pandemic has "not substantially changed" after the data error caused thousands of positive cases to be missed out the total figures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of the missing cases: "What happened here was that some of the data got truncated and it was lost.

"But what they have done now is not only contacted all the people who were identified as having the disease - that was done in the first place - but they are now working through all the contacts as well.

"The key thing, I would say, and it goes for everybody, is that if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace then you must self-isolate, if you are told you have been in contact with somebody who has the virus.

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"There is support of £500 for doing so and of course a £10,000 fine if you don't."

Manchester's rate - the highest in England - continues to climb, with 3,105 new cases recorded in the seven days to October 3.

This is the equivalent of 561.6 cases per 100,000 people and is up sharply from 261.2 per 100,000 in the previous week.

Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has jumped from 335.4 to 534.3, with 806 new cases.

Liverpool is in third place, where the rate has also soared, from 325.1 to 516.0 with 2,570 new cases.

It comes as the death toll for coronavirus in England and Wales rose for the third week in a row, figures show today.

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The Office of National Statistics says 215 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to September 25th - more than 50 per cent higher than the week before. In the north west figures have almost tripled.

The figure represents 2.2% of all deaths in England and Wales.

It was the third weekly rise in a row and represents a 54.6% increase in deaths involving Covid-19 from the previous week, when 139 deaths were registered.

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The number of deaths involving coronavirus increased in eight of nine regions in England, and in Wales.

Just two areas - London and the East - had lower overall deaths than the average over five years for this time of year.

Overall, there were 9,634 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending September 25 - 111 more than the previous week and 2.7% higher than the five-year average.

Deaths in hospitals and care homes were below the five-year average, while deaths in private homes remained above, with 749 more deaths than would typically be expected.

Across the UK, 10,861 deaths were registered - 179 deaths higher than the five-year average and 77 deaths higher than the previous week.

Of these, 234 mentioned coronavirus.