Several areas in the North West are currently among the worst affected by coronavirus, new data has revealed.
According to Public Health England and the Department for Health, they are ‘working collaboratively’ to focus on areas where coronavirus cases are rising, Sky News reports.
New figures from PHE show Leicester (140.2 cases per 100,000 people), Bradford (69.44), Barnsley (54.65) and Rochdale (53.64) are the areas worst affected by coronavirus.
These four areas have at least 45 cases per 100,000 people in the week to June 21st – although none of the other three have levels anywhere near as high as Leicester.
The next category (30-44.9 cases per 100,000) includes six areas: Bedford (41.95), Oldham (38.62), Rotherham (33.63), Tameside (33.3), Blackburn with Darwen (32.9), and Kirklees (30.31).
Further down the list, Manchester ranks 15th worst with 21.55 cases per per 100,000 people.
Despite reports yesterday that Wigan was on a list of areas that could potentially be put into local lockdown, these new figures show that it’s actually only 74th on the list with a rate of just 5.52.
An updated list ending June 28th is expected to be published tomorrow.
The British Medical Association has called for the government to provide accurate data on local coronavirus spikes to ensure those areas can react quickly to save lives and protect the NHS.
There are two sets of figures released, Pillar 1 includes the number of patients and staff testing as positive in hospital and PHE labs, Pillar 2 includes positive cases identified in testing centres.
Leicester City Council has just received accesses to the data in Pillar 2.
A spokesperson said: “PHE publishes daily cases of COVID-19 broken down by local authority which includes people tested as part of pillar 1.
“This is used as one of a number of indicators to help us and partner organisations to identify trends in local areas and to take action accordingly.
“To use these data in isolation to predict which areas will see significant increases in cases is not appropriate as they do not provide a complete picture of what is happening locally.”
Councillor Ian Hudspeth, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community well-being board, told Sky News: “More data is starting to be shared with councils’ directors of public health, which is good news. It is clear that more precise, granular information is needed in order to help councils track down and isolate any specific outbreaks or clusters.
“This data needs to be provided promptly and shared quickly, with both district councils and upper tier local authorities, to ensure the swiftest and most effective response.
“Proportionate responses, which have the consent of the community, are the best way in dealing with local outbreaks and we expect this to happen in the vast majority of cases. Councils want to work with the public and local businesses on this and the use of powers should only ever be needed as a last resort, to manage the outbreak and prevent the spread of infection.”
Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said figures from PHE show Bradford ‘with a high number of infections along with a number of other northern authorities, although we are some way behind Leicester’.
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “These claims of a local surge and a lockdown are wholly inaccurate and people should not panic or feel unduly alarmed.”
Dr Mark Ansell, Havering Council’s director of public health, said: “Public Health England London have reviewed cases in London and the overall trend remains downwards. We are nowhere near the levels where a lockdown would even be considered.”
Drivers could soon be fined for parking on the pavement under new rules
Make sure you’re aware of the proposed rule changes
A ban on parking on the pavement could soon be implemented across England, under new laws which are expected to be rolled out this year.
Parking on pavements would be a thing of the past, with £70 penalty fines for offenders coming into effect under the proposed new rules.
According to reports, the new legislation would see a ban on antisocial parking introduced, in a bid to make pavements safer for people with disabilities and visual impairments, as well as families.
The changes to the law which are being considered have already been implemented in London and would be rolled out nationwide.
They come in response to complaints about pavement parking and the risks it brings with it to those whose use pavements, with the Department for Transport (DfT) initially launching a proposal on the subject in September 2020.
The proposals came after a review discovered that almost half of wheelchair users and a third of visually impaired people were less willing to go out on the streets alone due to ‘antisocial’ parking on the pavement.
A spokeswoman from the DfT explained to The Mirror that the government is currently collating responses after receiving ‘overwhelming’ feedback.
The public consultation period for the proposals ended back on November 22nd, and as such a decision on the plan is expected imminently.
However, Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing has said that ‘the guidelines are currently quite confusing for motorists’.
The motoring company conducted a report which discovered that local authorities would have the power to dish out £70 fines if a vehicle was considered an obstruction, even if it was parked outside the driver’s house.
Mr Tongue said: “A pavement parking ban is 100% needed nationwide – anything that puts pedestrians at an increased risk requires action.
“However, the information given so far is slightly confusing for drivers. At the moment, there’s no clear guidelines for those who park on the pavement due to having no room on their own drive. Most households have more than one car, so it will be interesting to see where motorists are expected to park if not on the pavement outside their homes.
“Clear guidance is required for drivers so they know the correct location to park in order to avoid a fine.”
Operation Forth Bridge: the full plan for what happens next after Prince Philip’s death
Buckingham Palace confirmed the sad news of his passing earlier today
Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
The 99-year-old, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning, Friday April 9th.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There were already strict procedures put in place for when Prince Philip died, which have now begun, and they’re known as Operation Forth Bridge.
According to the plan there are several steps that need to be followed, including everything from national mourning to a burial site for the Duke.
Operation Forth Bridge has been around for many years, with Buckingham Palace, in consultation with both the Queen and Prince Philip, regularly updating and reviewing it.
Part one of the operation was the announcement from Buckingham Palace confirming the death of the Duke, which was distributed to the Press Association and BBC first.
Then the country enters a period of national mourning, meaning a set of rules, like flags being flown at half-mast, must be followed.
According to reports, it’s thought newsreaders and other TV presenters must wear black out of respect.
Next, plans for the funeral will be drawn up, and while Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral he reportedly wanted something more discreet – a private service in the style of a military funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, followed by burial at Frogmore Gardens.
The funeral is still expected to be televised despite the current restrictions, although it remains unclear how many people will be able to attend it.
The Queen’s private secretary and senior adviser, Sir Edward Young, will be on hand to help her during the undoubtedly challenging days ahead.
As well as being responsible for supporting the Queen in her duties, Sir Edward is also the channel of communication between the Queen and the government.
Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99
NEWS JUST IN
Prince Philip has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed today.
A tweet on The Royal Family Twitter account announced the news.
The Duke of Edinburgh was born 1921, and was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years – officially the longest-serving consort in British history.
The official announcement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“Further announcements will be made in due course.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
There’s been no official details about the Duke’s funeral released yet, however it has been reported that he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.