Coronavirus: Why are cases increasing despite number of tests levelling off? | UK News

The warning signs are there.

Cases are up, particularly among the young. And it’s not just in hotspots around the country. Now, it’s national.

That’s why there has been a shift in tone from those in charge.

matt hancock

Hancock announces new Bolton restrictions

Over the summer they were relaxed about the upward drift in positive coronavirus tests.

“We’re testing more people, so we’re finding more cases,” they said.

But the rise in testing has levelled off as labs have reached capacity. Yet the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections is still rising.

So there is something else now going on.

Perhaps the virus just took time to get going again. Lockdown successfully reduced rates to very low levels in many areas, so it would have taken a while for it to use the renewed social contact between people to spread more widely.

Perhaps people returning from their summer holidays abroad are ignoring quarantine rules and seeding outbreaks in areas of the UK that previously had few cases.

It’s probably both and it’s being driven by young people. They now make up the majority of new cases – a marked shift from the first wave in the spring.

It’s the same in France and Spain, where daily new cases are even higher than in the UK.

They lifted lockdown seven weeks earlier, so perhaps we are a little behind, but on the same curve.

The concern is that in Spain, deaths are rising again, as the virus jumps from the young to the old.

That’s also ringing alarm bells here in the UK. And that is why Health Secretary Matt Hancock has appealed to us all, wherever we live, not to become complacent about social distancing.

Where we don’t do it voluntarily he won’t hesitate to act, as Bolton is now finding out.

“Stick with it, play your part,” he said. He might have added: “Or else.”

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