Concerns after rapid rise of Covid-19 cases in Swindon

THE council is alerting people across the borough to a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases.

A total of 193 new coronavirus cases were confirmed over the weekend, according to Public Health England figures.

In the past seven days the average case rate has risen from 142 per 100,000 people to 172 per 100,000 people, according to the council.

A council spokesman said: “It’s up to all of us to minimise the extra burden on our local health services.

“Protecting hospital beds and capacity to provide the medical care and treatment we depend on.

“One in the three people who have Covid-19 don’t show symptoms but can still pass on the virus.”

A total of 4,838 cases have been confirmed in the borough since the pandemic hit the UK.

Recent figures show the new strain of coronavirus is spreading across the region.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the mutated strain may be 70 per cent more infectious.

According to the ONS, 27 per cent of South West cases in the past week are believed to be the new strain, up from 13 per cent in the week starting November 18.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of COVID-19 through Public Health England’s genomic surveillance.

“As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.

“We have alerted the World Health Organization and are continuing to analyse the available data to improve our understanding.

“There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments although urgent work is underway to confirm this.

“Given this latest development it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission.”

Professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool Calum Semple said the new strain is infecting many more people in the same amount of time that the previous variant did.

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