Covid cases continue to rise despite claim fewer people report results

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Coronavirus cases across east Suffolk have risen by more than 50pc in a week.

The latest figures, for the seven days to March 18, show a total of 2,997 cases reported, with a case rate of 1,197 per 100,000 people.

It means cases have risen by 1,020, a rise of 51.6pc, from the 1,977 the week before, where cases had risen by 77.8pc.

Cases in the district are now the highest they've been since the first seven days of 2022, when east Suffolk reported 4,006 positive results.

The areas with the lowest case rates per 100,000 people in Waveney include Bungay and the Saints, with a case rate of 665.9, and Lowestoft central, with 726.1.

The rise in cases comes as Stuart Keeble, Suffolk's director of public health, revealed fewer people were reporting positive results on lateral flow tests.

The government will stop providing free home testing kits from April 1, but vulnerable people and those who work in health and social care settings will still be able to access them without charge.

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Mr Keeble said: "Whilst we have seen a reduction in the number of tests being reported, as we move towards a new phase of ‘living with Covid’ we are seeing people in Suffolk continuing to be sensible about when they take a test. 

"Taking a test if you have symptoms or before visiting a vulnerable person gives you a good indicator of whether or not you may be infectious to others.

"Although we are no longer required to legally self-isolate if we have Covid, we do still strongly recommend to, as this will prevent more people from becoming ill."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, March 23, a spokesperson for the James Paget University Hospital confirmed five patients had died after testing positive.

They said: "Sadly, we can confirm that five people who were being cared for at the James Paget University Hospital, who had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.

"The patients were two women in their 80s, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 60s.

"All had underlying health conditions.

"Their families have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them."