Preston’s coronavirus infection rate has continued to fall further as we begin the second week under the new looser lockdown restrictions.Advertisement
Concerns have been raised after a number of cases of the Indian Covid mutation have been discovered in Lancashire.
Preston’s new cases of coronavirus for Monday (19 April) were recorded as seven.
South Ribble saw four new cases for the same day.
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Wyre was up by three cases, Fylde saw no new cases, Ribble Valley up by two and Chorley recorded seven Covid cases.
Preston’s infection rate for Covid is now 31.4 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to April 15, down from 41.9 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to April 8.
South Ribble is matching the city, down to 31.6 from 42.4 for the same two date periods.
Chorley dropped to 36.4, down from 45.7 and Wyre was up to 17, from 10.7.
Fylde is at a rate of 21, up from 18.6 and Ribble Valley is down to 13.1 from 23.
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As 103 cases of the new Indian Covid variant were confirmed in England, three are in Lancashire.
Health secretary Matt Hancock gave an update in the House of Commons as the government moved to ban travel to and from India.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled a planned trip to India – with the travel ban on India, moving to the ‘red list’ of countries with restricted travel due to Covid concerns – starting from 4am on Friday.
Anyone returning after this time will be forced to quarantine.
The Lancashire Resilience Forum confirmed to LancsLive the three cases were found in Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and one other unknown Lancashire location.
Mr Hancock told MPs: “We’ve recently seen a new variant first identified in India. We’ve now detected 103 cases of this variant, of which again the vast majority have links to international travel and have been picked up by our testing at the border.”
Mr Hancock said the samples have been analysed to see if the new variant has any “concerning characteristics” such as greater transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.
He added: “After studying the data, and on a precautionary basis, we’ve made the difficult but vital decision to add India to the red list.”
The Prime Minister had been due to travel to India on Sunday on a trip which had already been dramatically scaled back due to the pandemic.
Mr Johnson and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi agreed the cancellation of the trip as New Delhi entered a week-long lockdown to tackle a surge in cases and prevent a collapse of the capital’s health system, as India reported 273,810 new infections – the highest daily rise since the pandemic began.
The Prime Minister said: “I do think it’s only sensible to postpone, given what’s happened in India, the shape of the pandemic there.”
The Department for Transport said the situation in India “has deteriorated with an extremely rapid rise in cases detected throughout April, which is accelerating”.
It added that despite current travel measures, “there is a high volume of travel between India and the UK”.
The Health Secretary highlighted the success of the vaccine rollout – with 10 million people now having received two doses – and falling hospital admissions and deaths.
See the latest coronavirus vaccine stats and information near you
But he told the Commons: “The biggest risk to our progress here in the UK is a new variant that the vaccine does not work as well.”
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