BASINGSTOKE is on the path to becoming a coronavirus hotspot, a ‘covid calculator’ has revealed. 

The tool, devised by Imperial College London, predicts the parts of the country likely to see a rise in coronavirus cases to above 50 per 100,000, which it classes as a 'hotspot.'

Currently, the map indicates that the Basingstoke and Deane local authority has only a 14 per cent chance of reaching this infection level.

However, the map shows that this time next week, the chances are nearly three times as high, at 41 per cent .

The heat map scale runs from very pale green (zero to five per cent) to red (75 or higher), with much of the south of England seeing a similar spike in the coming week:

Drag the screen above to view the difference over the next week.

The calculator also indicates that in the following week, ending on October 24, the probability in Basingstoke will rise rise again, to 65 per cent.

Basingstoke Gazette: Imperial College London 'Covid calculator'Imperial College London 'Covid calculator'

While Basingstoke and Deane is not yet in the red zone, the steep increase in probability over such a short period is a worrying trend.

But Basingstoke is not seeing as high  a probability as in some neighbouring areas.

As shown on the heatmap, the following places are also predicted to worsen, bringing many of them into the red zone by next week:

  • West Berkshire: 51 per cent → 77 per cent
  • Wokingham: 52 per cent → 76 per cent
  • Hart: 52 per cent → 76 per cent
  • East Hampshire: 39 per cent → 64 percent
  • Winchester: 57 → 80 per cent
  • Test Valley: 45 per cent → 67 per cent

These predictions come after the Gazette reported earlier this week on comments made by the leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Cllr Ken Rhatigan, on the unlikely event of Hampshire becoming a hotspot in the near future.

“I have been on a Local Outbreak meeting today and I can assure you that the numbers for Hampshire are exceedingly low in terms of covid cases, so much so that there does not look to be the threat currently of a local lockdown,” he said.

The website uses data on daily reported cases and weekly reported deaths, as well as mathematics modelling, to predict the chance of a local authority becoming a hotspot in the following week.

It assumes no change to current interventions, such as lockdowns or school closures, in any given local authority, beyond those already taken about a week before the end of observations.

You can view the tool here for more information.