UK to boost COVID-19 testing in children as London risks new restrictions

LONDON (Reuters) - Every secondary school student in several London boroughs will be tested for COVID-19 as the government tries to tackle a rise in cases that has given London the highest prevalence for the virus in England, risking new restrictions. Case rates per 100,000 people in London stood at 191.8, according to data from Public Health England (PHE) released on Thursday, putting the city ahead of regions that have stricter rules in place, such as the West Midlands. Under the tier system brought in when a month-long national lockdown in England ended on Dec

Reuters December 11, 2020 00:13:01 IST
UK to boost COVID-19 testing in children as London risks new restrictions

COVID-19 testing in children as London risks new restrictions" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/12-2020/11/2020-12-10T153312Z_1_LYNXMPEGB91AC_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-BRITAIN-ROLLOUT.jpg" alt="UK to boost COVID19 testing in children as London risks new restrictions" width="300" height="225" />

LONDON (Reuters) - Every secondary school student in several London boroughs will be tested for COVID-19 as the government tries to tackle a rise in cases that has given London the highest prevalence for the virus in England, risking new restrictions.

Case rates per 100,000 people in London stood at 191.8, according to data from Public Health England (PHE) released on Thursday, putting the city ahead of regions that have stricter rules in place, such as the West Midlands.

Under the tier system brought in when a month-long national lockdown in England ended on Dec. 2, all hospitality outlets except for takeaway orders must close in areas in tier 3.

The capital is currently in tier 2, avoiding the more restrictive category into which large swathes of England were placed, but could now face new rules in the coming days.

"I am particularly concerned about the number of cases in London, Kent and Essex. Cases are rising and in many areas (are) already high," health minister Matt Hancock told a news conference.

"We've decided to put in place an immediate plan for testing all secondary school-aged children in the seven worst affected boroughs of London, in parts of Essex that border London and parts of Kent."

Britain has Europe's highest death toll from COVID-19 , with more than 62,000 fatalities. Official data on Thursday showed that the economic recovery from the pandemic had almost ground to a halt because of the impact of restrictions which barred people from socialising in pubs and restaurants.

PHE said cases at a national level had plateaued, and the rate of infection had fallen in central and northeastern England, areas which had been placed in tier 3.

There has been discontent about the tier system from lawmakers in the ruling Conservative party, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised it would be reviewed on Dec. 16, holding out the possibility some areas would move to lower categories with fewer restrictions.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Michael Holden and Costas Pitas; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Heinrich)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Canada's Ontario to keep schools closed longer as COVID-19 cases among children rise
World

Canada's Ontario to keep schools closed longer as COVID-19 cases among children rise

By Moira Warburton TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Ontario will keep elementary schools in its southern regions closed for in-person learning until Jan.

Pompeo angers China with Hong Kong threat, plan to send envoy to Taiwan
World

Pompeo angers China with Hong Kong threat, plan to send envoy to Taiwan

By David Brunnstrom and Gabriel Crossley WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) -Washington may sanction those involved in the arrest of over 50 people in Hong Kong and will send the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to visit Taiwan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, drawing anger and the threat of retaliation from Beijing.

Iranian ship arrives at Venezuelan port, data shows
World

Iranian ship arrives at Venezuelan port, data shows

CARACAS (Reuters) - An Iranian ship arrived at the Venezuelan port of La Guaira on Thursday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, in what appeared to be a continuation of the commercial alliance between the two countries targeted by U.S. sanctions. Iran has been supplying gasoline to ease fuel shortages in Venezuela caused by decay of the South American nation's refineries and worsened by sanctions.