Preston’s stubborn Covid infection rate tracked as coronavirus vaccine milestone reached and latest on lockdown lifting

Posted on - 14th February, 2021 - 8:57pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
Walking in Avenham Park Pic: Tony Worrall
Walking in Avenham Park Pic: Tony Worrall

As we begin to understand a route out of lockdown we look at how the city’s infection rate is remaining fairly static in February.

First a look through the new confirmed Covid-19 cases during the Valentine’s weekend.

On Saturday (13 February) Preston recorded 67 new cases.

South Ribble recorded 32 new cases on the same day.

Wyre was up by 18, Fylde also 18, Ribble Valley 23 and Chorley at 34.

See the latest coronavirus cases and information near you

New cases for Sunday (14 February) were 38 in Preston.

South Ribble recorded 28 new cases on the same day.

Wyre recorded 11 new cases, Fylde 15, Ribble Valley 11 and Chorley 32 new cases.

Read more: Preston’s Covid rate still among highest in England

February infection rates so far

While South Ribble has begun to fall away rapidly, following mini blip at the end of January, Preston is remaining stubbornly above 300 cases per 100,000 people.

The city throughout this week has moved into the top 10 highest infection rates in England.

While the rate is declining, and began a sharp drop between 25 January-28 January, that rate of decline has not continued and Preston has seen some week-on-week increases which are rare amongst local authorities in England at present.

The chart below shows how the infection rates have changed since late October – just before the country went into the second national lockdown – through until the most recent infection rate number on Friday. If you can’t see the chart, tap here.

Covid vaccine milestone reached as government rejects calls for ‘set date’ for lockdown lifting

During Sunday afternoon more than 15million people have now received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it an ‘extraordinary feat’.

In just over two months the mass vaccination programme has been able to offer a first dose to everyone in the UK’s top four priority groups, including all over-70s, and beat the deadline set of Monday 15 February.

The Prime Minister said: “Today we have reached a significant milestone in the United Kingdom’s national vaccination programme.

“This country has achieved an extraordinary feat – administering a total of 15 million jabs into the arms of some of the most vulnerable people in the country.”

Next to be vaccinated will be five further priority groups, which includes the over-50s, who are due to be vaccinated by the end of April.

See the latest vaccination figures and information below

Read more: Over-70s in Preston and Lancashire urged to take the Covid vaccine

Pressure is increasing for the government to commit to dates for lockdown easing.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab rejected a demand by the Covid Research Group – run by Covid-sceptic Conservatives – to commit to lifting all legal restrictions in England by the end of April.

More than 60 MPs in the CRG are backing a letter to the Prime Minister insisting he commit to a firm timetable for ending controls.

Read more: Preston woman urging South Asian communities to have Covid-19 vaccination

They said schools “must” return on March 8 as planned with pubs and restaurants opening in a “commercially viable manner” from Easter, with the end of April marking the final end of lockdown.

Mr Raab, however, said that, while ministers wanted to lift controls as quickly as possible, it was essential to ensure the disease was under control first.

“We do need to be very careful how we proceed.

“We have made good progress.

“We don’t want to see that unravel because we go too far too quick,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.

“We are not making what feels to me like a slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact that measures have had on the transmission and the hospital admissions of the virus.

“We need to retain some flexibility to deal with the variants, which of course are part and parcel of dealing with the pandemic but do alter the precise timeframe.”

Elsewhere on lockdown restrictions, The Telegraph reported from March 8 there are proposals to allow picnics and park meet-ups.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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