The latest coronavirus figures for Preston and Lancashire have been released as the chief medical officer warned against any relaxing of the lockdown roadmap.Advertisement
New Covid cases for Preston on Tuesday (9 March) saw 39 recorded cases – the highest number in any Lancashire district.
South Ribble recorded 27 for the same day.
Wyre saw just six new cases, Fylde the same figure, Ribble Valley with seven and Chorley with 25 new cases.
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Preston’s coronavirus infection rate is now 141.1 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to March 5, down from 178.9 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 26.
Data for the most recent four days (March 6-9) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
This moves the city back into England’s top 10 highest infection rates, with Preston now having the seventh highest infection rate and more than double the average in England.
South Ribble’s rate fell to 97.5, down from 145.3 for the same two date ranges as Preston.
Read more: Two areas in Penwortham are nearly Covid free – latest area by area figures show
Wyre’s rate is now 36.6, down from 74.9 and Fylde is at 81.7, down from 112.7.
Ribble Valley is at 85.4, down from 95.3 and Chorley’s rate is 57.5, down from 101.5.
Read more: Essential workers in Preston city centre urged to use Harris test centre
Professor Chris Whitty says there are ‘still risks’ to reopening society and the UK will experioence another surge in cases at some point.
The chief medical officer for England was speaking about any earlier lockdown easing.
Speaking to the Commons Science and Technology Committee alongside the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Prof Whitty said the measures pencilled in for May 17, when indoor mixing of up to six people could be allowed, involved “significant risks”.
He told MPs he would “strongly advise” against any attempt to “concertina” the five-week interval between steps, saying the April 12 measures are “a very big block”, with shops and outdoor hospitality due to open.
May 17 further represents “a very significant block with a lot of stuff that is indoors for the first time, that is the point when we are really going to start to see some very significant risks accumulating, potentially”.
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Prof Whitty said that although older and vulnerable people would mostly be protected by vaccines, younger people will not all be vaccinated by April, and they mostly drive transmission of the virus.
Modelling considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has suggested that even under the most optimistic set of assumptions, at least a further 30,000 Covid-19 deaths could occur.
Prof Whitty said that “even if you have a relatively small proportion of people still remaining vulnerable, that still equates to a very large number of people overall.”
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