MILLIONS of more Brits are set to be put in Tier 4 this week as the mutant Covid-19 strain continues to sweep the country.
The next tier review is December 30 and infections continue to climb and hospital admissions increase.
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It comes as top scientists are warning that the whole of England “must be put into Tier 4 immediately” to stop the spread of the mutant coronavirus strain gripping the country.
The UK’s new strain – which scientists say is 70 per cent more easily spread – is already “out of control”.
Another Covid-19 variant from South Africa has also made its way to the UK.
Coronavirus hospital admissions are set to pass the peak of the first wave in April.
The most recent data from the Department of Health shows there were 21,286 patients in hospital for the killer bug on December 22.
This is not far off the peak of the first wave, when there were 21,683 patients in hospital in April 21.
The most up-to-date seven-day hospital admission average is 1,984 and if that current trend continues then it will pass the peak for patients that were in hospital beds in the spring.
Hospital admissions are currently at a higher figure than the week before the second lockdown – where there was a seven-day average of 1,191.
The number of patients that were admitted to hospital on December 20 is 2,143, according to the latest figures.
In April, there was a single day admission of 3,569 of patients.
The Department of Health website notes that not all the data will be updated everyday over the Christmas period – raises fears the true numbers will be much higher when they get published.
Independent Sage, who provide independent advice to the UK government, have said thousands more people will now be infected in the new year.
One of the group's members, Dr Zubaida Haque, today questioned why the government haven’t placed the whole country in the harshest tier of restrictions to save lives.
She tweeted yesterday: “Given that we surpassed 70,000 #COVID19 deaths in UK on Christmas Day, and there are now more patients with coronavirus in hospital than at any point in the pandemic, why hasn’t the government implemented #tier4 restrictions everywhere in the UK? @IndependentSage are very worried.
“Given the crisis situation we’re in with the highest number of daily deaths with #COVID19 in 2nd wave, with 1000’s more likely to be infected because of relaxation of rules in tier 1-3 on Christmas Day AND failed govt’s test & trace system, we need #tier4 everywhere now to save lives.”
Meanwhile, millions more people woke up to harsher coronavirus restrictions as new tier changes came into force on Boxing Day.
The number of those in the strict restrictions increased by six million to 24 million people – 43 per cent of the population – in a bid to stop the spread of the mutant Covid.
It comes after the Government said a further 570 died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus as of Christmas Day, while there were a further 32,725 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
And other scientists have warned the new strain found in Kent could be more likely to affect children.
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said there is "some evidence that the increase may be particularly marked in children."
They found that the new strain of the virus is 56 per cent more infectious – and that even with another national lockdown, it would be difficult to get the R rate down.
Their study also found that infections were "unlikely" to go down unless schools and universities closed.
The virus variant will lead to a wave of coronavirus cases and deaths that will peak in spring 2021 for London, the South East and east of England, according to scientists.
And they said that cases and deaths will peak in summer 2021 for the rest of the country.
However, researchers don't believe the new strain is more deadly or will be more severe in either adults or children.
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