The UK is on the cusp of a second wave of coronavirus infections after a record number of cases was reported this afternoon. In a televised speech on Tuesday, Boris Johnson warned there has been an “exponential” growth of coronavirus infections as he announced clampdown on face coverings and curfews on pubs and restaurants.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the sacrifice of the British people in following the rules but acknowledged there had be “too many breaches” of the guidelines.
A study of 31,787 UK adults, conducted by health bodies and leading UK universities across 21 national surveys, has highlighted key flaws in the battle to contain the virus.
The project titled “Adherence to the test, trace and isolate system” found just 10.9 percent of people said they had not left their home for 14 days after being alerted by the NHS tracing system and told they had been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
The data collected between March 2 and August 5, also found just 18.2 percent of people who reported having coronavirus symptoms in the past seven days, said they had not left home since feeling unwell.
Meanwhile, of those who reported coronavirus symptoms in the past seven days, just 11.9 percent requested a test.
The study says the figure is much lower than the 34 percent estimated by NHS Test and Trace and 35 percent by the Office of National Statistics
According to the study, some of the main reasons for not quarantining was having a dependent child.
But more alarmingly 14.3 percent of people did not think it was “necessary to stay away from people outside your household”.
The study identified young men as a key demographic for not following the guidance, it says: “Patterns of results were similar for all outcomes.
“Lower adherence was associated with being male, younger age, having a dependent child in the household, lower socio-economic grade, greater hardship, and being less informed about COVID-19 and guidance to prevent the spread of the virus.”
During his address to the nation 48 hours ago, the Prime Minister said: “While the vast majority have complied with the rules there have been too many breaches – too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: “This is the highest number recorded and a stark warning for us all.
“The signals are clear. Positivity rates are rising across all age groups and we’re continuing to see spikes in rates of admission to hospital and critical care.
“We must all follow the new measures that have been bought in to help control the virus and download the new NHS Covid-19 App which is the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk.”