England's new Covid 'epicentre' revealed as Midlands dominates 20 worst-hit areas

ENGLAND'S latest Covid 'epicentre' has been revealed as shock stats show the Midlands dominates the list of the 20 worst-hit areas.

Thirteen of the 20 areas with the highest coronavirus case rates across the country are now in that hard-hit region.

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Only Barnsley, Bolton, Preston, Bradford, Hull, Peterborough and Fenland make the list who are not in the Mids, according to  Public Health England.

Top of the lot is North West Leicestershire, where 197.9 people out of every 100,000 caught the virus in the week leading up to February 28.

Corby, in Northants, comes in second with a rate of 188.3 per 100,000, and Leicester, with 188 per 100,000, makes third place.

A new Department of Health and Social Care map now shows swathes of blue stretching from below Birmingham up to Manchester.

The colour represents the upper tier local authorities with infection rates of between 100 and 199 per 100,000 people.

Out of the 315 local areas across all of England, just 13 (around four per cent) have seen a recent rise in case rates.

While 299 (around 95 per cent) have seen a drop. The other three areas remain unchanged, reports the Mirror.

Earlier today, we told how England's biggest virus infection survey showed very early signs the outbreak is growing again in some parts, possibly because people are letting their guard down.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock pleaded with everyone to "remain vigilant" on the back of the findings from the REACT-1 study, run by Imperial College London.

He said: “There is some cause for concern that our hard-won progress may be slowing down, and even reversing in some regions so it is important we remain vigilant – this is on all of us."

List of top 20 latest infection rates in England

(Week to February 28, with cases in brackets. Second figure the week to February 21)

  1. North West Leicestershire, 197.9, (205), 201.7, (209)
  2. Corby, 188.3, (136), 351.7, (254)
  3. Leicester, 188.0, (666), 249.0, (882)
  4. Peterborough, 177.0, (358), 264.5, (535)
  5. South Holland, 176.8, (168), 187.3, (178)
  6. Fenland, 173.8, (177), 220.9, (225)
  7. Ashfield, 169.6, (217), 223.6, (286)
  8. Mansfield, 164.7, (180), 215.0, (235)
  9. South Derbyshire, 164.1, (176), 166.9, (179)
  10. Redditch, 161.9, (138), 229.9, (196)
  11. Hull, 159.8, (415), 149.4, (388)
  12. Boston, 159.6, (112), 179.6, (126)
  13. Sandwell, 158.0, (519), 252.7, (830)
  14. Oadby and Wigston, 157.9, (90), 164.9, (94)
  15. Bradford, 157.3, (849), 218.1, (1177)
  16. Barnsley, 157.2, (388), 179.0, (442)
  17. Bolton, 150.9, (434), 228.1, (656)
  18. North Warwickshire, 150.2, (98), 236.0, (154)
  19. Gedling, 150.1, (177), 203.6, (240)
  20. Preston, 149.5, (214), 254.3, (364)

Mr Hancock reminded people to "stay at home" and "remember the virus is still here, and still dangerous".

Covid deaths in the UK have actually dropped by 26 per cent in a week as a further 242 fatalities were recorded today.

And the total number of infections has reached 4,201,358 after 6,573 cases were reported in the last 24 hours.

Today's daily death toll brings the grim total of Covid fatalities to 124,025.

But along with the declining rate of daily deaths, the number of infections has dropped by 34 per cent in one week.

Yesterday, 6,385 infections were recorded in 24 hours, along with a further 315 deaths.

 

This was equivalent to a 36 per cent decrease in Covid cases in seven days – showing that infections are slowly declining across Britain.

And today's figures are also lower than this time last week, when there were 323 further deaths and 9,985 positive cases of Covid reported.

On March 3, 275,003 additional Covid vaccine doses were dished out in England as part of our nation's world-class inoculation programme.

And in Scotland, a further 34,237 people received their jab, alongside 24,187 in Wales.

This brings the total number of people vaccinated for Covid in Britain to nearly 21 million.

NHS England confirmed that 184 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital today, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 83,917.

Patients were aged between 19 and 98. All except six, aged between 47 and 85, had known underlying health conditions.

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