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Coronavirus Is Spreading Most Rapidly Among Young People in The North East and North West

3 min read

Coronavirus cases in England are growing most rapidly among 20 to 40-year-olds in the North East and North West, according to new government data.

For the 20 to 29-year-old age group there were between 200 and 250 new cases of the illness per 100,000 people in both English regions up to September 23. Figures for the 30 and 39-year-old age group were similar, also at around 200 cases per 100,000.

The government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, who was speaking at a Downing Street press conference said: “If you look at the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber and to a lesser extent the West Midlands you can see a significant rise now, particularly in younger people, but increasingly also in people who are older and have a greater risk of having a bad outcome.

“Remembering of course that young people can also have bad outcomes in terms of prolonged symptoms even if they do not have a fatal case, or one that gets them in intensive care.”

“This increase is accelerating quite rapidly in some of those areas.”

For the East of England, East Midlands, London, the South East, and South West, no age group has a rate of more than 100 cases per 100,000.

The new information was presented in a series of stark slides by Whitty, who was also joined by chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance for the press conference. 

Though there was a suggestion the virus' spike may be localised, Vallance was quick to add: "We don't have this under control at the moment."

He said: "There is evidence of spread everywhere".

In other graphs, a test positivity rate of around 15 percent was revealed for some age groups in both the North East and North West. It appeareed to be between 12 and 15 percent for those aged 80 plus, and the age groups, 20 to 29, 30 to 39 and 50 to 59. It is lower than four percent for all age groups in the South East.

Whitty said there was also an uptick in the number of people entering intensive care with figures "definitely heading the wrong way" though he stressed there is significant capacity within the NHS. the biggest increase was in London.

Rates for school age children is also low, he said, but for those age 17 up to the age of 21 the rates are increasing.

“For those 17 up to 21, and the same is true for other young adults, the rates are going quite rapidly," he said.

The press conference held by the Prime Minister was Johnson's second address to the public this week, and follows last week's TV message about further restrictions, including a 10pm pub curfew. 

Johnson was adamant that he did not want to take further restrictive measures across the entire country but he could not rule it out if cases continue to rise. 

Parts of the North East and North West had a rate of between 168 and 263 cases per 100,000 people across all age groups in the seven days up to September 23. In contrast, for vast swathes of the South West, excluding Cornwall, the rate is between 0 and 22 cases per 100,000 people.



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