BRITAIN has been hit with fears of a second wave as new coronavirus outbreaks appear in parts of the Midlands.
Matt Hancock discusses treating ‘local outbreaks’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said officials are working hard to trace people who have come into contact with fresh cases. About a quarter – 658 – of the 2,494 COVID-19 cases in Leicester were reported in the past two weeks, official figures show. Leicester City Council’s public health director Ivan Browne said the city, which has a population of 329,800, is home to large communities of ethnic minorities.
He also said there were high levels of diabetes and other pre-existing health conditions among residents which heightens their risk of contracting coronavirus.
He said: “We know that these factors combine to create a high-risk, more vulnerable population that’s more susceptible to coronavirus.”
He said authorities were concerned over the rise in cases but stressed that as things stand the numbers are “relatively small”.
The second wave fears have been spurred on by an outbreak at a meat processing plant in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, which supplies bacon to Asda supermarkets.
Coronavirus news: The UK is facing a second wave of COVID-19
In a statement, Kober Ltd and Asda said: “As soon as we became aware that some colleagues at our Kober site may have COVID-19, we responded swiftly and worked collaboratively with the local authority and Public Health England to test all colleagues.
“We have voluntarily closed the site to protect colleagues and prevent any further transmission.”
The outbreak comes as thousands of Germans were told to quarantine and schools were shut after a spike in cases among staff at an abattoir fueled fears of a second virus wave.
More than 650 people tested positive at the meat processing site in Gütersloh, in the north-west of the country.
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Coronavirus map UK
Researchers have found coronavirus in sewage water taken from Italian cities last December
10.25am update: ‘COVID-19 alert level should be downgraded from Level 4 to Level 3’
The UK’s chief medical officers said in a statement: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended that the Covid-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation).
“The CMOs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the evidence and agree with this recommendation to move to Level 3 across the UK.
“There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues.
“It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.
“We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues.”
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