AN interactive map that shows Covid hotspots across England has revealed East London has the highest infection rates.
It comes as experts have warned the lockdown in place could get tougher if infection rates don’t start to drop.
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The map which uses Government data shows three boroughs in and around London have become Covid hot-spots, with the worst infection rates in the country.
Barking and Dagenham, in east London, currently has the nation’s highest infection rate, with 1,708 virus cases per 100,000 people.
Data estimates one in 16 people have the virus in the area, compared to about one in 50 people across England — and one in 30 in London as a whole.
The second worst-hit area in the country is the neighbouring borough of Redbridge.
It has 1,571 cases per 100,000 people, while Thurrock, in Essex, now ranks third with 1,566.5 infections per 100,000.
It comes as:
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Brits have been urged to stay at home during the third national lockdown as cases of Covid-19 continue to surge [/caption]
Newham, Havering, Tower Hamlets, Castle Point, Epping Forest, Harlow, Basildon and Brentwood have all recorded rates of more than 1,200 per 100,000 in the past week
It comes as health chiefs and MPs in the east of London and Essex warned hospital services risk being overwhelmed because of the recent surge in Covid admissions.
Brits are currently living under national lockdown restrictions as tier restrictions previously put in place failed to work against the new strain of the virus.
This is the third national lockdown that has been imposed on Brits in the last year.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi warned a fresh clampdown was on the cards, as coronavirus cases continued to rocket upwards despite the draconian rules and stay at home order.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 this morning, Mr Zahawi said the Government wanted to avoid further rules, but warned the super-contagious new strain of the virus “loves social interactions”.
When asked if the current rules were going far enough, he said: “We don’t want to introduce tougher measures. The lockdown is tough, schools are shut.
“But it’s important to remember this virus loves social interactions -that is the best way for the virus to spread.”
And Mr Zahawi said ministers are “reviewing all the restrictions”.
He warned that a flashpoint was the virus spreading in supermarkets, after ministers threatened to crack down on shops not following social distancing, signalling a return to a long queues outside stores.
Mr Zahawi said: “I am worried about supermarkets, about people actually wearing masks, following the one way system and making sure when it’s at capacity, people are waiting outside.
“I am worried about some of the pictures I’ve seen about social interactions in parks.
“If you have to exercise you can go out for exercise only. We want to make sure people stay at home. That’s the message.”
Data from the government’s coronavirus dashboard shows that in the last seven days, there have been 366,346 cases in England, this means that around 650.0 people every 100,000 are infected with the virus.
In Wales 14,762 people are infected, with 468.2 per 100,000 having caught the virus.
In Scotland, 16,379 people are infected, with 299.8 people per 100,000 having tested positive for the virus.
In Northern Ireland 12,716 people have the virus with 671.5 people per 100,000 having tested postive.
This morning Professor Chris Whitty warned that people needed to continue to follow the rules in order for lockdown to end and for infections rates to drop off.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme he highlighted that one in 50 people in the country now have Covid-19.
He also added that around 1 in 20 people in London now have the virus.
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During a BBC phone-in on the current high case rates, he said: “I don’t think we’re yet at the peak, I’m afraid.
“I think we will be at the peak if everybody can double down and absolutely minimise their contacts.
“The point of the lockdown is to bring that forward, but it only works if everyone really thinks about every individual interaction they have and try and minimise them.”
But he also gave hope to millions struggling under the current restrictions – and said there is ‘no doubt’ that life will soon go on as it did before the pandemic.