ALMOST 350 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Berkshire in the past 24 hours, according to latest figures.
Public Health England has recorded 345 lab-confirmed cases in the past day in areas including Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham, West Berkshire, Slough, and Windsor and Maidenhead.
These figures, correct as of 4.13pm on Tuesday, December 15, bring the county’s lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 tests total to 17,852, according to Public Health England.
The local breakdown for the past 24 hours as follows:
- Reading – 65 cases, 3,406 total
- West Berkshire – 61 cases, 2,059 total
- Bracknell – 35 cases, 1,955 total
- Wokingham – 43 cases, 2,750 total
- Slough – 95 cases, 4,866 total
- Windsor & Maidenhead – 46 cases, 2,816 total
The latest seven-day rate per 100,000 people locally are as follows:
- Reading – 213.3 per 100,000 people (Compared to 145.3 on December 8)
- West Berkshire – 135.1 per 100,000 people (Compared to 53 on December 8)
- Bracknell – 200.7 per 100,000 people (Compared to 144.4 on December 8)
- Wokingham – 167.1 per 100,000 people (Compared to 132.1 on December 8)
- Slough – 325.7 per 100,000 people (Compared to 240.7 on December 8)
- Windsor & Maidenhead – 118.2 per 100,000 people (Compared to 112.9 on December 8)
There have now been 1,888,116 cases of Covid-19 across the UK – as of Tuesday, December 15 at 4.13pm.
In today’s national coronavirus news:
Scientists have warned that the easing of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas will cause a spike in infections, as London and some surrounding areas prepare to enter Tier 3.
The capital and parts of the commuter belt will be placed under the toughest measures – forcing the closure of hospitality – from Wednesday following a “very sharp” rise in cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said higher infections in the South East may be in part due to a newly identified variant of coronavirus which is growing faster than the existing one.
The discovery sparked fresh concerns over plans to allow up to three households to mix indoors from December 23 to 27 – with fears the country will “pay the price” in the new year.
David Nabarro, a World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy working on Covid-19, said the price of such a relaxation “could well be very high”.
Urging people to think carefully about their plans, he told Times Radio: “Just ask yourself, is there any way in which you can perhaps not have the family get-togethers this year?
“It’s much better not to do it when there’s this kind of virus about.”
England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty also struck a cautious tone, saying people should not meet at Christmas just because they can.
He said: “The point of this (relaxation of rules) is for, under certain circumstances, families who wish to, to get together, but they really have to be very, very careful.
“And in particular, incredibly careful if they’re around people who are vulnerable, who are at very high risk of this virus.”
Downing Street insisted there were no plans to change the “Christmas bubble” policy despite the fears.