Somerset – Bad but its worse elsewhere
The latest ONS figures for COVID 19 across the UK were surprising. Yes they do show an alarming acceleration in infections. You will may have heard that the number of daily new infections topped 60,000 for the first time yesterday. But once again there has been very little focus on the significant geographical variances. As we went into lockdown, under the old tier system, much of the south west was already in Tier 4.
Certainly London is suffering a far greater surge in cases. The ONS figures suggest that 1 in 30 Londoners has been infected. However as is often the case, the media have generally chosen not to look too hard outside London. It is worth taking a moment to do so. These are the regional figures for COVID 19 infections published by the ONS (highest levels to lowest)
- 1 in 30 (3.3%) London
- 1 in 45 (2.2%) East England
- 1 in 45 (2.2%) North East England
- 1 in 50 (2%) East Midlands
- 1 in 60 (1.7%) North East
- 1 in 65 (1.5%) West Midlands
- 1 in 65 (1.5%) Yorkshire
- 1 in 135 (0.7%) South West
Do not misunderstand us. We are not saying the situation here is to be taken lightly. There is very clearly a serious acceleration in the virus spreading here too. But it is accelerating from a much lower base. And infection rates are not just lower than in the rest of the UK, they are significantly lower.
Again that is no consolation if you or your loved ones have COVID 19. You have our sincere sympathy if you do. But this is not being put in perspective. At a time when many people are finding the situation frightening, let us at least see the whole picture in context.