Covid calculator: How at risk of coronavirus is your area?
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A new, interactive map from Imperial College London shows where coronavirus cases in the UK are likely to rise over the coming weeks. The map, created by researchers, points out the next ‘hotspots’ and is hoped to encourage local authorities to take action before it is too late. The Imperial College map regards a hotspot to be any area where weekly reported cases exceed 50 in every 100,000 people.
How at risk of coronavirus is your area?
The Wirral in Merseyside, Leeds in West Yorkshire, Middlesbrough and Caerphilly are among the places that could emerge as coronavirus hotspots in the next two weeks.
Bolton, which has recently implemented new lockdown measures, is expected to remain a hotspot for weeks to come.
South Tyneside and Corby are also in the same position, according to the map from Imperial.
Rossendale in Lancashire and Breckland in Norfolk could also become high-risk areas in the next two weeks.
Rossendale has a 92 percent chance of becoming a hotspot, while the Wirral has 85 percent, 79 percent for Leeds and Caerphilly, 76 percent for Breckland and 74 percent for Middlesbrough in the week ending September 19.
Active hotspots Bolton and South Tyneside have a probability of 99 percent.
Corby in Northamptonshire shows a 79 percent likelihood of retaining its hotspot status in two weeks’ time.
Oldham, however, shows that cases are decreasing and is unlikely to remain a hotspot in coming weeks.
The researchers’ map uses figures on daily and weekly reported deaths and mathematical modelling to calculate the probability that a local authority will become a hotspot.
It also estimates whether cases are likely to increase or decrease in a given area, and the probability of the R rate being greater than one.
If the R Rate is shown to be higher that one, it indicates an outbreak is out of control and cases will continue to rise.
The predictions are based on the current Government measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
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Each local authority is treated independently of its neighbours in the modelling.
An increase in cases in any local authority can be down to an increased rate of testing, which, according to the researchers, the model does not factor in.
It also does not take into account demographic factors in its data.
Lead researcher Professor Axel Gandy, from the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, said the modelling is based on “trends” seen in the areas.
Professor Gandy said: “The model allows us to project where local hotspots of COVID-19 are likely to develop in England and Wales based on the trends we are seeing in those areas.
“COVID-19 is still, unfortunately, very much still with us, but we hope this will be a useful tool for local and national governments trying to bring hotspots under control.”
Dr Swapnil Mishra, from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis said: “We provide weekly predictions of the evolution of COVID-19 at the local authority level in England and Wales.
“Our model helps to identify hotspots – probably local areas of concern. We hope that our estimates will enable swift action at the local level to control the spread of the epidemic.”
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