The list of the next coronavirus hotspots predicted by a Covid-19 study app has been revealed – and Newcastle is top.
Newcastle, Blaenaeu Gwent, Halton, Wigan and St Helen’s complete the top five in the coronavirus symptom study app.
The North East city has 0.93 per cent of its people displaying the signs and symptoms of Covid, which reduces to 0.89 per cent for Blaenaeu Gwent.
Halton and Wigan are around 0.8 per cent, with St Helens down at 0.77 per cent.
Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London – where scientists help interpret the results – said: “We are confident that this flattening in the data looks real and that this might be an early sign of infection rates slowing down.
“This may be due to a number of factors including social distancing and the “rule of six”, but we can’t discount the role of less susceptible people and prior immunity in those exposed and the natural cycle of the virus.
“We are seeing nearly 50% of our cases are coming from the under 30s, which is more than in the spring, which may explain why the pressures on the NHS are less.
“We still need to continue to work together to make sure this flattening off isn’t a small blip.
“As we head into winter we all need to be cautious and pay attention to the advice we are being given around local restrictions, social distancing and avoiding gathering in large groups.”
New data from NHS Test and Trace shows that 38.1% of people who had an “in-person” test for Covid-19 in England in the week ending September 23 received their result in 24 hours – up from 28.2% the previous week but far short of the Prime Minister’s target of 100% originally set for the end of June.
Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who now chairs the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said local lockdowns may have prevented the current second wave of infections from taking hold across the country.
He told the Today programme: “We didn’t manage to do that first time round but it just may be that these local lockdowns – although we haven’t seen a big reduction in transmission within those areas – they may just have contained it and stopped it from becoming the national outbreak that we had before.”