Reports by two of Britain’s leading news outlets have published separate sets of analyses that claim millions of Britons have been living in areas that have seen no deaths from coronavirus in weeks.
Analysis by BBC News, also quoted by British newspaper of record The Times, was published on Friday claiming that around 22 million people across the four nations of the United Kingdom live in areas where there have been no recorded deaths by COVID-19 from April 1st to the 28th. In the four week period of January, by comparison, that figure was only around 50,000 people.
Some parts of the country had gone even longer without coronavirus fatalities. Plymouth, a city of around a quarter of a million people in the south-west of England, has not seen a coronavirus death in 58 days. Maidstone in the south-east of England and the university city of Oxford in southern England have gone 60 days.
Of the four nations, Scotland saw more than half of its local authority areas, 56 per cent, seeing no deaths in the past four weeks, followed by England with 44 per cent.
Only nine per cent of authorities in the British province of Northern Ireland reported no deaths, but 55 per cent reported only one. Every local health board in Wales reported at least two deaths, but only the Betsi Cadwaladr health board, which covers North Wales, had more than seven.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a researcher from Warwick University, specialising in the spread of infectious diseases, told the BBC that the analysis was “really good news”.
“It’s a really good sign and we’ve seen several parts of the country where prevalence is really, really low. So, I think it gives us confidence,” Dr Tildesley said.
Meanwhile, a report also published on Friday by The Telegraph claimed that 34 million Britons, around half of the United Kingdom’s population, live in areas where they had not seen any coronavirus deaths in at least two weeks.
During the second-wave peak in mid-January, just two local areas out of 380 had no deaths in a two-week period, according to the newspaper, and both were isolated archipelagos (the Outer Hebrides and the Orkney Islands in Scotland).
Their analysis of Public Health England (PHE) data also claims that some two-thirds of the kingdom, 45.6 million people, have not seen a death in their local authority area in seven days.
The centre-right newspaper also reports that there are just 1,533 people being treated in hospital for coronavirus, the lowest figure since September 21st. The figure is far lower than the January wave peak of 39,248 hospitalised Britons.
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