MORE than 800 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Berkshire in the last 24 hours.
Public Health England has recorded 859 lab-confirmed cases in areas including Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Slough and Windsor and Maidenhead.
These figures, correct as of Tuesday, January 12 at 4.30pm, bring the county’s lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 tests total to 38,887, according to Public Health England.
The local breakdown for the past 24 hours as follows:
Reading – 201 cases, 7,203 total
West Berkshire – 92 cases, 4,305 total
Bracknell – 51 cases, 5,106 total
Wokingham – 131 cases, 6,016 total
Slough – 264 cases, 10,092 total
Windsor and Maidenhead – 120 cases, 6,165 total
There have now been 3,164,051 people across the UK who have tested positive for Covid-19.
The total number of deaths – those with Covid-19 listed on their death certificate – across the UK has now reached 89,243.
The latest seven-day rate per 100,000 people locally are as follows:
Reading – 760.9
West Berkshire – 340.2
Bracknell – 727.1
Wokingham – 541.7
Slough – 1,084.7
Windsor and Maidenhead – 626.1
In today’s national coronavirus news:
Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse has said the UK is at a “perilous stage” in the battle against coronavirus.
Asked about the possibility of increased Covid restrictions, Mr Malthouse told Sky News: “We are at a very, very perilous stage in the progress of this virus through our country.
“If we are going to get through this in good shape, and if we make sure that this is the last, big lockdown of the country, it’s very important that we all stick to the rules, and we see very high compliance.
“The vast majority of people are complying happily, well, not happily, miserably, but complying, and recognising the emergency that we face.
“But we do have a small number who aren’t.”
Mr Malthouse said: “Whether there are going to be greater restrictions or not very much depends on the numbers. We are tracking the infection rate.
“We are all, frankly, on tenterhooks to see how the impact of the restrictions that came in on Boxing Day will impact on numbers, particularly in London and the south east.
“This virus is moving so quickly that government is having to make very, very agile decisions about the way we live our lives.
“But, as I say, if we are going to make sure that this is the last lockdown – please God it is – we all need to stick by the rules and take it really, really seriously.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that in some parts of the country from a minority of people who are, frankly, letting the rest of us down.”
It is the police’s job to scrutinise where people are going outdoors, said Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse, as he described the “significant change” in British policing.
Speaking to Times Radio, he said: “It’s certainly the case that the police are going to be very high profile and they recognise the seriousness of the situation that is faced by their fellow workers in the health service and elsewhere.
“It’s certainly part of police’s job to stop people and enquire as to the reasons why they’re outside their house.
“It is a very significant change and it’s a challenge for British policing that relies on a model of consent.
“Such is the seriousness of the situation that we face that I think there’s no other option.”
On reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was seen cycling in an east London park seven miles from his home, Mr Malthouse said: “What we are asking people to do is when they exercise to stay local.
“Now, local is, obviously, open to interpretation, but people broadly know what local means.
“If you can get there under your own steam and you are not interacting with somebody … then that seems perfectly reasonable to me.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “The images appearing online of woefully inadequate free school meal parcels are a disgrace.
“Where is the money going? This needs sorting immediately so families don’t go hungry through lockdown.”
The Department of Health said it was investigating after images posted on social media showed only a small number of food items sent to families in some council areas.
Several were highlighted by footballer Marcus Rashford, who had campaigned to ensure families were supplied with food during lockdown.
Will Broughton, trustee of the Royal College of Paramedics, said that paramedics were attending to less patients as a result of ambulance queues outside of hospitals.
The London-based paramedic told BBC Breakfast: “In some cases we’ve heard of ambulances waiting up to five hours to hand over their patient at hospital.
“On a number of occasions over the Christmas and New Year period I was waiting between two and three hours in some cases to hand over patients.
“The unseen part of that delay is that for all the time that an ambulance is at hospital waiting to hand over, then there is a patient, or a number of patients, in the community that are waiting for ambulances to come and attend them.
“We’re attending less patients per day because of the time that we’re waiting at hospitals.”
He added: “There’s certainly a risk that people will deteriorate and the people will become more unwell because they’re waiting for an ambulance to arrive or waiting for a space to become available in the hospital.”
Police officers are hoping the public will recognise what “local” means for exercise, said policing minister Kit Malthouse.
When asked whether “local” should be defined in England, he told Times Radio: “What we are hoping for is that most people will recognise that local, while it’s open to personal interpretation, does have some implications, ie can you get there under your own steam?
“We are trying to strike a balance between maintaining compliance with the rules and elements of public consent to what’s happening.
“I think most people would think that was reasonable.
“Where there are unreasonable people who are breaking that rule, police are intervening.”
Policing minister Kit Malthouse has said that all supermarkets should follow in Morrisons’ footsteps to enforce the wearing of masks in stores.