SCIENTISTS at Imperial College London believe there will be more than 500 cases in Bracknell next week despite the area being put under lockdown.

The data has been produced by the Medical Research Council Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College, in conjunction with its mathematics department.

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"Lots of people wear masks beneath their nose, it makes it all pointless"

It predicts the probability of local authorities recording at least 500 cases per 100,000 people over the coming weeks and becoming a 'hotspot' on its map.

The website predicts a 80 per cent chance of Bracknell Forest area having this amount by the week ending Sunday, January 17 .

This is based on reported cases and weekly reported deaths, combined with mathematical modelling, which results in the probability of an area becoming a hotspot in the following weeks.

As of this week (January 13) it predicts a 93 per cent chance of the local authority having 500 cases per 100,000 people, and this number stays decreases by the end of this week on Sunday, January 17.

Bracknell News:

The neighbouring Ascot area meanwhile has a 75 per cent chance of having 500 cases per 100,000 people today.

The map also notes there is an 'unclear direction' of new infections in the Bracknell Forest area.

The rolling rate for Bracknell as a whole is 698.5 cases per 100,000 people according to Public Health England.

Imperial College states that its projections for hotspots assume no change in interventions and human behaviour has been made since a week before the last observed data. The data was last updated on Monday, January 1.

It adds: "We consider an area to have increasing new infections if our model estimates that the reproduction number R is greater than 1 with probability of at least 90 per cent."

It currently puts the probability of R - the number of people one person with the virus is likely to go on to infect - being greater than 1 at 92 per cent for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Imperial College also lists a number of limitations to its predictions.

It explains: "Predictions on this page assume no change in current interventions (lockdowns, school closures, and others) in the local area beyond those already taken about a week before the end of observations.

"An increase in cases in an area can be due to an increase in testing. The model currently does not account for this.

"Each area (local authority) is treated independently apart from the overall Rt estimate for its region. Thus the epidemic in a region is neither affected by nor affects any other region. It also does not include importations from other countries.

"The population within an area is considered to be homogeneous - i.e. all individuals are considered equally likely to be affected by the disease progression."