England is at a “critical stage” as almost 100,000 people are catching Covid-19 every day, according to a study by Imperial College London.
According to researchers, the virus is spreading exponentially across the country, and the number of people infected is doubling roughly every nine days.
The scientists say the current restrictions are “not sufficient” and advise a change of policy before Christmas to get the virus under control.
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The study was the sixth and latest round in an ongoing series of surveys, using data and swab results to estimate the number of infections in the country.
Researchers found that, while coronavirus case numbers are highest in the north of England, they are now rising most rapidly in the south.
Round six of the study used results from 86,000 people between 16 October and 25 October to estimate that around 96,000 per day are contracting the virus.
What is the infection rate?
The research puts the overall rate of infection in the community in England at 1.28 per cent, or 128 people per 10,000.
This has risen from 60 people per 10,000 in the last round of the study, which took place between 18 September and 5 October.
Director of the programme at Imperial College, professor Paul Elliot, said he was “disappointed” that the country is “still in this rapid growth phase.”
He said, “It’s more critical, because it’s gone up more and it’s continuing to go up.
“And also we’re seeing this increase in the rate of rise, rather than decrease in the rate of rise which we did spot before.
“So there was a period when the rate of rise was decreasing, and we were hopeful that the policies that have been implemented were turning the rates down and ultimately turning the prevalence down.”
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) has reportedly called for all of England to be placed into Tier 3 lockdowns by Christmas, and is projecting that the overall death toll from a second wave will be greater than the first.
Elsewhere in Europe, France has gone back into a national lockdown, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Germany will enter national lockdown early in November.