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Preston and Lancashire Covid infection rates as county sees all areas fall, South African variant in Southport and Prime Minister ‘may scrap regional tiers system’

Posted on - 1st February, 2021 - 7:25pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
An almost empty Friargate in Preston city centre on Monday 1 February Pic: Tony Worrall
An almost empty Friargate in Preston city centre on Monday 1 February Pic: Tony Worrall

Every area in Lancashire saw the Covid-19 infection rate fall in the latest figures.

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New cases confirmed on Monday (1 February) include 58 recorded cases in Preston.

South Ribble saw 42 new cases for the same day.

Wyre was up by 36, Ribble Valley 18, Fylde 36 and Chorley at 31.

Infection rates for all areas in Lancashire are now falling, the first time this year we’ve seen that trend.

Preston’s Covid-19 infection rate is now 363.3 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to January 28, down from 482.8 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to January 21.

Data for the most recent four days (January 29-February 1) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

South Ribble’s rate is now 334, down from 423.3 for the same two seven day periods as Preston.

Fylde, which had been the only area in Lancashire seeing an increasing in cases in recent weeks, is now falling. Down to 284.7, from 333.

Ribble Valley is 275.9, down from 369.5 and Wyre’s rate is 240.9, down from 299.8.

Chorley’s infection rate is now 245.3, down from 348.5.

Read more: Police say there were more than 500 Covid related incidents in Lancashire at the weekend

Government begin ‘surge testing’ to track down South African variant

Door-to-door Covid testing is being put in place in parts of England to try and contain a new coronavirus mutation.

Health secretary Matt Hancock led a Downing Street press office to say they wanted to test 80,000 people in areas where the new variant had been identified.

Mobile testing units and some home testing kits are being sent into eight postcode areas: Hanwell, west London; Tottenham, north London; Mitcham, south London; Walsall in the West Midlands; Broxbourne, Hertfordshire; Maidstone, Kent; Woking, Surrey; and Southport, Merseyside.

The South African variant is thought to be as transmissible as the variant that was first identified in Kent but there is no evidence yet that it causes more severe disease.

“We are sending in the extra surge testing and the enhanced contact tracing to try to stop those chains of transmission, to stop the spread altogether of these new variants, but it is not straightforward,” he said.

“There may be further cases that we don’t know about yet and our genomic sequencing is in place to try to spot them.”

You can watch the full press conference below

It was “absolutely vital” that people minimise all social contact in the areas where South African cases had been identified, he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hinted the regional tier-restrictions could be scrapped once the national lockdown ends.

A national approach to easing restrictions ‘may be better’ the PM told reporters.

Read more: How Preston and South Ribble’s Covid infection rate has changed in the past week

Mr Johnson said: “It may be that a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way, might be better this time round, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally.

“If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it’s a pretty national phenomenon.

“The charts I see, we’re all sort of moving pretty much in the same sort of way, I mean there are a few discrepancies, a few differences, so it may be that we will go for a national approach but there may be an advantage still in some regional differentiation as well. I’m keeping an open mind on that.”

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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