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13 areas in England have crossed the security threshold to lift the lockdown UK News

13 communal areas in England have exceeded the safe limit on Covid test positivity rates set by the World Health Organization (WHO) for governments considering easing lockdowns.

Last year, the WHO recommended governments ensure that the proportion of coronavirus tests that come back positive remains below 5% for at least two weeks before regions reopen.

The threshold is the maximum limit at which a pandemic would be considered out of control, although the positivity rates are ideally much lower.

But the latest government data shows 13 councils in England had a positivity rate of more than 5% in the week to June 2, down from three a week earlier.

This means that at least 5% of those tested that week returned at least one positive result, with all duplicates removed, with just two weeks before the scheduled end of England’s lockdown on June 21.

The north-west most affected

All 13 regions were in the northwest. One estate – Blackburn with Darwen – was more than double the threshold, while Rossendale and Bolton approached double.

In Blackburn, the rate rose to 13.6% from 8.1% a week earlier. In Rossendale the rate went from 8.6% to 9.7% and in Bolton it was 9.6%, down from 8.8%.

There were 24 communal areas that are now at or above 3% that have seen an increase of at least one percentage point over the past week – implying that many more areas are approaching the threshold of 5%.

The tips with the 20 highest positivity rates were:

Times Series: The tips with the 20 highest positivity rates.The advice with the 20 highest positivity rates.

The situation in England

The positivity rate across the country was 1.5% in the week to June 1, down from 0.9% a week earlier.

It almost doubled from 0.8% in early May.

But the rate varies widely across the country, from a low of 0.5% in the Southwest to 4.3% in the Northwest.

Read more: Moms pass Covid antibodies into breast milk to protect babies after vaccination

Areas in the northwest that have seen clusters of the Delta variant, first identified in India, have been subjected to surge testing, which may have increased the number of positive cases identified.

But more tests would also return a higher number of negative results. The high proportion of tests giving positive results suggests that the coronavirus is much more prevalent in these regions than elsewhere in the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was “no doubt” that coronavirus infections had increased in England.

“We always knew it was going to happen,” he added.

“What we need to determine is to what extent the immunization program has sufficiently protected us, especially the elderly and vulnerable, against a new wave.”

What does the WHO say?

WHO set its 5% threshold in May last year, long before effective vaccines were developed and deployed.

The positivity rate cut-off should be used to supplement estimates of the R number – the rate of transmission of the virus in communities – to assess whether the outbreak is under control, he said.

In England, 76.4% of people aged 18 and over had received at least one dose of the vaccine by June 6. In the UK, the figure is 76.8%.

NationalWorld asked the WHO if successful vaccination programs would affect its guidelines on test positivity. He hasn’t responded yet.

What is the government saying?

Not a lot.

NationalWorld has contacted the Department of Health and Welfare regarding the latest data.

We asked him if he recognizes or takes into account the WHO threshold and if the situation in the North West is of concern.

He passed our request on to the Cabinet Office, which simply said before taking each step that the government would review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests.

It is about the continued success of the vaccination program, whether the evidence shows that vaccines reduce hospitalizations and deaths, whether infection rates risk an increase in hospitalizations that would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS, and whether its assessment risk has been fundamentally changed by new variants. of concern.

He did not directly address the 5% threshold.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-08 08:49:45

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