Brazil COVID variant: Zahawi grilled over quarantine measures
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In the last seven days leading to March 1, the UK reported 55,859 new coronavirus cases. This data suggests Covid cases in the UK significantly decreased by 28.7 percent in the last seven days, compared to the previous week. But despite dropping coronavirus cases and ongoing vaccine rollout, on Monday Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people not to "blow" the UK's progress by not sticking to the lockdown rules.
According to the latest Government data, figures show in the seven days leading to February 25, a total 35 local areas in England reported a rise in Covid cases compared to the previous week.
Overall, this means 11 percent of local areas in England saw a rise in case rates during this period.
The remaining 278 areas of England, or 88 percent of the country, have seen a fall in case rates and two local areas have remained unchanged.
Worthing in Sussex reported the highest rise in Covid cases with 110.3 cases per 100,000 people – a rise from the previous week's 74.2 cases per 100,000 people.
South Holland also reported a jump from 171.5 to 203.1 new cases per 100,000 people. Following is Hyndburn which reported an increase from 139.4 to 162.9 new cases per 100,000 people.
Covid hotspots: The 5 places with rising cases – is my area one? (Image: GETTY – GOV.UK)
Covid hotspots: Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people not to ‘blow’ the UK's progress by not sticking to the lockdown rules at a Downing Street briefing on Monday (Image: GETTY)
Cases in Richmondshire jumped from 93.1 to 115.4 new cases per 100,000 people, while East Lindsey also saw cases rise from 47.3 to 68.4 per 100,000 people.
The full list of the 35 is as follows and reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to February 25; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to February 25; rate of new cases in the seven days to February 18; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to February 18.
- Fenland, 214.0, (218), 197.3, (201)
- South Holland, 203.1, (193), 171.5, (163)
- Boston, 186.7, (131), 175.3, (123)
- Oadby and Wigston, 177.1, (101), 171.9, (98)
- Hyndburn, 162.9, (132), 139.4, (113)
- Hull, 157.8, (410), 146.7, (381)
- West Lindsey, 136.9, (131), 118.1, (113)
- North East Lincolnshire, 131.6, (210), 115.9, (185)
- Lincoln, 116.8, (116), 113.8, (113)
- Richmondshire, 115.4, (62), 93.1, (50)
- Worthing, 110.3, (122), 74.2, (82)
- Swindon, 108.0, (240), 101.3, (225)
- Ipswich, 97.1, (133), 90.6, (124)
- North Lincolnshire, 95.8, (165), 92.9, (160)
- Watford, 95.3, (92), 82.8, (80)
- Dacorum, 76.9, (119), 67.2, (104)
- Hastings, 76.6, (71), 63.7, (59)
- Eden, 73.2, (39), 62.0, (33)
- York, 72.6, (153), 67.9, (143)
- East Lindsey, 68.4, (97), 47.3, (67)
- Cambridge, 68.1, (85), 67.3, (84)
- Epping Forest, 66.1, (87), 65.3, (86)
- Maldon, 63.1, (41), 58.5, (38)
- Vale of White Horse, 61.0, (83), 60.3, (82)
- Mendip, 60.6, (70), 56.2, (65)
- Wokingham, 58.4, (100), 54.3, (93)
- South Somerset, 54.6, (92), 51.7, (87)
- Eastbourne, 54.0, (56), 52.1, (54)
- Tower Hamlets, 52.7, (171), 50.2, (163)
- Tunbridge Wells, 47.2, (56), 46.3, (55)
- Islington, 43.3, (105), 38.8, (94)
- Cheltenham, 43.0, (50), 33.5, (39)
- Cotswold, 40.1, (36), 32.3, (29)
- Torridge, 14.6, (10), 11.7, (8)
- West Devon, 9.0, (5), 7.2, (4)
However, while the figures may seem stark, experts say the data overall is positive. All regions of England recorded a week-on-week fall in the number of COVID-19 deaths registered in the week to February 19, the ONS said.
And with the vaccine rollout gathering steam, Britons should feel positive about the progress.
Covid hotspots: Seven day rolling rate of new Covid cases ending on Feb 24, 2021 (Image: GOV.UK)
Covid hotspots: More than 20 million people have now received their first Covid vaccine dose in the UK (Image: GETTY)
Devi Sridhar, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, told Good Morning Britain this morning: “I think vaccines are a real cause for optimism and the effectiveness data and reducing hospitalisations and deaths, and now even stopping transmission are better than any of us could have imagined.
“When the polio vaccine was discovered there were parades in the street – people celebrated the scientific discovery.
“And I hope at some point in the future – when we have vaccinated everyone and we are back to some normality – we can really appreciate this.
“This is world changing in terms of having these vaccines as a way out of this pandemic.”
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Covid hotspots: Many areas in England have reported a drop in Covid cases compared to the previous week’s data (Image: GETTY)
Where are Covid cases highest in England?
Corby in Northamptonshire has the highest case rate in England based on the current data.
There were 191 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the seven days leading up to February 25, which is the equivalent of 264.5 cases per 100,000 people.
However, the number of cases in Corby did drop compared to the previous seven days leading to February 18, when 330.9 cases were reported per 100,000 people.
According to the PA news agency analysis, the following areas represent the 10 areas with the highest number of Covid cases reported in England during the seven days leading to February 25:
- Corby, 264.5
- Leicester, 217.1
- Fenland, 214.0
- Peterborough, 208.6
- South Holland, 203.1
- Mansfield, 196.7
- Sandwell, 195.2
- Preston, 193.5
- North West Leicestershire, 192.1
- Bury, 190.1
Covid hotspots: Surge testing has now been deployed in five postcode areas near Bristol to find cases of the Brazilian Covid variant (Image: GETTY)
Where has the new Brazillian variant been found?
In recent weeks there has been growing concern over the potential development of new Covid variants and whether such strains could derail the UK's vaccine effort.
The Manaus variant, which is thought to have developed in Brazil, has now been found in the UK.
Six cases of the variant have been identified in England and Scotland.
Dr Susan Hopkins, of PHE, said they were tracking the new variant “very closely”.
Two of the cases in England were confirmed in South Gloucestershire.
PHE are also trying to track down one person who is yet to be identified who tested positive for the Manaus variant somewhere in England.
Surge testing has now been deployed in five postcode areas near Bristol and all people over the age of 16 without Covid symptoms have been urged to take a test.
The five postcode areas are:
- BS32 0
- BS32 8
- BS32 9
- BS34 5
- BS34 6
Boris Johnson has said there is no evidence to suggest the Brazilian variant will be resistant to the Covid vaccines.
He said: "We don’t have any reason at the present time to think that our vaccines are ineffective against these new variants of all types."
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