Leicester’s rate of new coronavirus cases has fallen from its recent peak but is not declining steadily, new data has suggested.
Leicester coronavirus rate decreasing but city is still ‘an outlier’
The equivalent of 115.4 cases per 100,000 people were detected in the seven days to 9 July, according to the latest figures from NHS England.
This is down slightly on 119.9 cases per 100,000 people in the previous seven days to 2 July. However, the rate has fluctuated over the past seven days – although these changes may be due to increased levels of testing picking up more cases.
Rolling data for the seven-day rate of new cases in the city showed a peak of 159.1 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 25 June. It came as Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, one of the government’s deputy chief medical officers, warned any decision to lift the local lockdown “could not be rushed”.
Professor Van-Tam told BBC Radio Leicester that data published on Saturday showed the city was “really quite an outlier” compared with the rest of the country.
“The situation has improved but it needs to go further,” he added.
For example, Leicestershire as a whole has recorded a seven-day rate of 17.8 cases per 100,000 people, while Derby’s figure is at 9.3 and Nottingham’s is at 5.4.
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More than 100 outbreaks tackled a week, health secretary says
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said action is being taken to tackle more than 100 local coronavirus outbreaks a week in the UK as part of a “targeted” approach by officials.
Mr Hancock wrote in The Daily Telegraph that the government was now able to take measures against small areas, such as a single business or building, with the aim of avoiding city-wide lockdowns like the one seen in Leicester.
“Each week there are more than 100 local actions taken across the country – some of these will make the news, but many more are swiftly and silently dealt with,” he wrote, adding that increased testing had helped locate cases.
His comments came as about 200 workers were forced into self-isolation at a farm in Herefordshire after 73 members on the site tested positive for Covid-19.