Coronavirus north-south divide could be caused by colder temperatures and less sunlight up North

BRITIAN'S second wave of coronavirus is hitting the North and Scotland worse because of colder temperatures and less sunlight, scientists have said.

The UK's top scientists have highlighted statistics showing how the North has seen a "heavy concentration" of the coronavirus compared to the South.

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The latest data appears to show a link between the weather and the current Covid-19 outbreaks.

For example, Manchester – the centre of the spiraling cases in August – experienced twice as much rainfall compared to London – where cases remained relatively low towards the end of the summer.

Met Office data for August shows the South saw more sunshine and hotter days.

By the end of September, the North West was recording twice as many infections as the next worst-hit region – and where the top ten highest case rates were located.

In the North West, areas including Manchester and Liverpool are recording between 168 and 288 infections per 100,000 people. 

Other hard-hit areas with infection rates more than 100 cases per 100,000 include Leeds as well as Birmingham and Leicester in the Midlands.

In London the number of infections are hovering with a case rate in the majority of boroughs between 52.79 and 100 cases per 100,000. 

In the South West, infections are as low as 22 per 100,000.

Top scientists have admitted that it is "entirely reasonable" to blame weather as a factor driving cases up.

Colder temperatures and less sunshine are more likely to encourage people to meet indoors.

The government has said that people spending time close to one another is thought be one of the biggest factors for the spread of the killer big – where ventilation is poor and individuals touch the same surfaces more regularly.

Other scientists have warned about solely attributing the increase in cases to the bad weather.

Dr John McCauley, one of the world's top flu scientists, told the MailOnline that people are driven inside when it is raining and cold – but it would be "tricky" to firm a link between Covid-19 and the weather.

Dr Andrew Preston, an expert in infectious diseases from the University of Bath, said it was "entirely reasonable" to draw a link.

He told the MailOnline: "In terms of behaviour, one of the things we've been really fearing during winter is the move indoors and its clear role in transmission.

"There's still the unanswered question about the impact of climate humidity, UV light and temperature on survival of the virus but, again, I think that's probably going to be fairly minimal because it looks as if transmission is primarily indoors.

"The indoor environment tends to be relatively stable compared to the outdoors. Whereas outside you might go from -5 to plus 15 that doesn't happen indoors because we control the environment. So whereas outdoors there's a strong set of physical parameters, indoors its flattened those differences that we control far more."

Professor Chris Whitty admitted during Wednesday's press conference there was a "very heavy concentration in the North West, North East and Midlands”.

It comes as the infection rate appears to have fallen from 1.7 to around 1.1 based on early results from a study by Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori.

This has been calculated based on tests carried out on more than 80,000 volunteers in England between September 18 and 26, The Daily Mail reported.

The Imperial study is looking at the levels of infection by testing more than 150,000 participants each month over a two-week period.

The full findings from the volunteers who were tested between September 18 and October 5 will be detailed next week.

Experts have said the early findings suggest that new cases are slowing down and that the newer measures such as the rule of six and curfews seem to be working.



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