COVID cases are falling in 90 per cent of areas in England with infection rates significantly lower than at the New Year.
Several parts of the country, particularly in the south, were recording case rates higher than 1,000 per 100,000 people at the end of December.
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But last week, the highest case rate recorded, in Peterborough, was 260 cases per 100,000.
It’s a four-fold reduction from the 1,191 cases per 100,000 reported in Redbridge in the week to December 22.
Redbridge – an East London borough – has cut its infection rate more than ten-fold, to 94 per 100,000.
Greenwich’s case rate has come down from 1,190 in the first few days of January to 64 per 100,000 now.
Halton recorded the highest case rate in the week between January 4 and 10, at 1,175 cases per 100,000.
Now, the Cheshire borough is hovering at a case rate of around 120 cases per 100,000.
The first week of January was considered the “peak” of the second wave, as more people tested positive per day than at any point of the pandemic.
But the latest set of data from Public Health England (PHE) is yet more evidence of the drastic drop in cases since then.
At the same time, the vaccination programme has gathered pace, reaching 18.69 million Brits so far.
The first raft of research into the effects of vaccines in the UK was published this week, showing the first signs the jabs are cutting case numbers, spread of the disease and severe illness.
The latest report from PHE reveals that 134 of 149 areas (89 per cent) in England have seen a drop in case numbers, or stayed stable, in seven days.
The largest reductions were in the Isle of Wight (57 per cent), Lewisham (44 per cent) and Bromley (38 per cent).
Each of those areas has an infection rate between 40 and 50 cases per 100,000.
Meanwhile, 15 areas saw cases go up in the week to February 21.
Rutland’s cases increased by 86 per cent, from 130 cases per 100,000 to 243.
Second, but with only a 23 per cent increase, was Swindon, where cases rose from 94 to 116 per 100,000.
Herefordshire (20 per cent), Hartlepool (14 per cent) and Bradford (12 per cent) also saw a hike in cases.
Where did cases change the most?
Case changes from the week to February 14 to the week February 21, according to Public Health England
Where cases increased:
- Rutland: 86.53% change, from 130.24 to 242.94 cases per 100,000
- Swindon: 22.97% change, from 94.06 to 115.67 cases per 100,000
- Herefordshire, County of: 20.53% change, from 78.32 to 94.4 cases per 100,000
- Hartlepool: 13.79% change, from 154.81 to 176.16 cases per 100,000
- Bradford: 11.75% change, from 192.3 to 214.9 cases per 100,000
- Bury: 9.69% change, from 205.25 to 225.14 cases per 100,000
- Sheffield: 8.93% change, from 118.66 to 129.26 cases per 100,000
- North East Lincolnshire: 6.53% change, from 115.31 to 122.84 cases per 100,000
- Oxfordshire: 6.48% change, from 73.59 to 78.36 cases per 100,000
- Kirklees: 4.77% change, from 176.45 to 184.86 cases per 100,000
- Leeds: 3.53% change, from 157.22 to 162.77 cases per 100,000
- Rochdale: 2.33% change, from 173.55 to 177.6 cases per 100,000
- Southampton: 1.41% change, from 140.19 to 142.17 cases per 100,000
- East Riding of Yorkshire: 0.77% change, from 114.02 to 114.9 cases per 100,000
- Wakefield: 0.31% change, from 183.46 to 184.03 cases per 100,000
Where cases decreased the most:
- Isle of Wight: -56.93% change, from 96.63 to 41.62 cases per 100,000
- Lewisham: -43.72% change, from 80.76 to 45.45 cases per 100,000
- Bromley: -38.41% change, from 83.05 to 51.15 cases per 100,000
- Knowsley: -37.67% change, from 249.9 to 155.77 cases per 100,000
- Gloucestershire: -37.50% change, from 72.83 to 45.52 cases per 100,000
- Bath and North East Somerset: -37.16% change, from 76.57 to 48.12 cases per 100,000
- Merton: -36.02% change, from 143.79 to 91.99 cases per 100,000
- Islington: -35.90% change, from 64.34 to 41.24 cases per 100,000
- Haringey: -35.74% change, from 97.9 to 62.91 cases per 100,000
- Kingston upon Thames: -35.64% change, from 113.8 to 73.24 cases per 100,000
- Lambeth: -34.75% change, from 108.58 to 70.85 cases per 100,000
- Kensington and Chelsea: -33.56% change, from 91.59 to 60.85 cases per 100,000
- South Gloucestershire: -32.58% change, from 138.9 to 93.65 cases per 100,000
- Cornwall and Isles of Scilly: -32.56% change, from 52.64 to 35.5 cases per 100,000
- Brent: -31.94% change, from 145.25 to 98.86 cases per 100,000
The country’s coronavirus cases are moving in a continuous downward trend, but there will still be localised outbreaks.
The Prime Minister is taking a national approach to lifting the lockdown.
But he has not ruled out localised restrictions when cases flare up in hotspots.
Regionally, Covid-19 case rates fell everywhere except Yorkshire and the Humber.
However, cases did not increase by a substantial amount; from 149.5 to 150.1 per 100,000 people.
In the East Midlands the rate of new cases stood at 167 – the highest rate of any region, but down from 181 in the previous week.
The West Midlands recorded the second highest rate: 152, down from 175.5.
South-west England recorded the lowest rate: 68, down from 89 per 100,000.
Hospital admissions have also fallen in every region, and are highest in the West Midlands with a rate of 17.9 per 100,000, PHE said.
Nationally, hospital rates have come down to 11.7 per 100,000 from 15 in just seven days, compared to highs of 37 at the start of January.
It comes as the UK's Covid alert level has today been downgraded – in a hopeful indicator that pressure on the NHS is lifting.
All four chief medical officers made the promising decision to pull the country down from its highest ever alert level, five, to a four.
Meanwhile, the PHE data reveals that those in their 30s are most likely to be catching the coronavirus right now.
There were 174 cases per 100,000 in this age group compared to 92 cases per 100,000 in people in their 60s.
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