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Lancashire’s director of public health addresses Preston’s stubborn Covid infection rate

Posted on - 3rd March, 2021 - 3:59pm | Author - | Posted in - Fylde News, Health, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Wyre News
County Hall in Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall
County Hall in Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s coronavirus infection rates continue to be in the top 10 worst in England, despite numbers of cases reducing.

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The latest figures, for Tuesday 2 March, showed Preston recorded 23 new cases, with South Ribble seeing 18 new cases and the Ribble Valley recording eight new cases.

Fylde had 12, Wyre only five and Chorley recorded 16 new infection cases.

Preston’s infection rate has remained in the top 10 in England since February, and most recently ranked ninth with an infection rate of 178.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Read more: Preston residents unable to work from home urged to get regular Covid tests

Lancashire County Council are reminding residents to remain vigilant as the rates continue to be a concern.

Rapid testing is now widely available for all people unable to work from home and have to travel in, and residents aged 60-63 are now able to book in for their vaccine.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi

Blog Preston asked the director of public health for Lancashire about why the city’s rate was seemingly high in comparison to other areas. Here’s what he had to say.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “The high infection rates in Preston remains a concern, although they are slowly reducing.

“Residents must remain vigilant, as Covid-19 is still an ever-present danger within our many diverse communities.

“While the vaccination programme is rapidly progressing locally, hospitals are still dealing with extremely high levels of Covid-19 patients.

“Take-up of the vaccine remains vitally important, so if you are invited to book an appointment to receive a jab, please do so without hesitation.

“Regardless of whether you have had your vaccine or not, you must continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives.

“One of the biggest tools we have in our disposal is community testing, which can help identify people who may have the virus but do not have any symptoms.

Read more: NHS urging residents aged between 60 and 63 to book in for Covid vaccine

“Up to a third of people have no symptoms at all, but are still infectious.

“A number of rapid Covid-19 testing sites have opened across Lancashire, including the Harris Museum in Preston.

“These community testing venues are aimed at those people who are unable to work from home, and who do not have symptoms.

“If you’re feeling unwell and are unsure whether you have Covid, then please book a test through the NHS website.

See the latest coronavirus stats and information near you

Read more: Covid-19 cases in Preston and South Ribble, ranked lowest to highest by area

“If you have a positive test result then it is vital that you self-isolate for 10 days and continue to follow Government guidelines.

“The next few months will be crucial as we look, as a county and as a country, to exit lockdown, and we simply cannot allow ourselves to let our guard down now.

“Better days are on the horizon but we must maintain our resolve or risk undoing all of the sacrifices we have made up to this point.”

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