Suffolk records 3,700 new cases in a week as rates continue to rise

A doctor prepares to administer a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

A doctor prepares to administer a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. - Credit: PA

The coronavirus case rate in Tendring over the past week has seen the 10th highest jump nationally, as rates continue to rise right across Suffolk and north Essex.

According to the latest Public Health England statistics, 3,738 new positive Covid-19 cases were recorded in Suffolk in the week up to January 3.

This equates to 22.8% of all the cases recorded in the county during the pandemic.

Data for the most recent four days has been excluded, as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

In Suffolk, rates rose in all districts. The rate in Ipswich moved to 636.9 — more than the national average of 619.1.

In mid Suffolk the case rate doubled, with almost similar rises in east Suffolk and west Suffolk.

Babergh saw the smallest increase.

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In Essex, figures reveal that cases are rising more rapidly in Tendring than almost anywhere in the country.

The district's case rate has leapt from 436.7 to 934.8 per 100,000 in a week — making it the 10th fastest rising district in the country.

Neil Stock, leader of Tendring District Council, said it was now more important than ever to follow the national restrictions.

“I am not a fan of continued lockdowns or restrictions, which are damaging to people’s mental health and livelihoods – but we are now nearing, I hope, the final hurdle,” he said.

“As the Prime Minister set out, we now have a road map to the lifting of restrictions, thanks to the vaccination programme, and we need to tighten up on restrictions now to protect the NHS until we get to that point.

“So let’s do everything we can to reach that goal. Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives, and if you must go out then remember hands, face, space.

"Stay local – we have fantastic beaches, parks and playgrounds right across the district, so there is no need to travel far to access beautiful open space.

“Together – as a council, as a community, as a country – we can get through this.”

Case rates also rose in every other district in the county.

These new figures have been released as the prime minister announced that almost 1.5 million people have now been vaccinated against the disease and the Government intends to give everyone in care homes a jab by the end of January.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said people had a right to know how quickly jabs could be rolled out and stressed the NHS was ready to administer vaccines as quickly as they could be supplied by manufacturers.

The prime minister said there would likely be “difficulties” in the rollout of the vaccine and there would be some “lumpiness and bumpiness” but said the army was working along with the NHS to make the vaccination programme as swift as possible.

The figures are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).

Nationally, the case rate rose in 98% of all districts.

Barking & Dagenham in London continues to have the highest rate in England, with 3,331 new cases recorded in the seven days to January 3 – the equivalent of 1,564.5 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 1,147.0 in the seven days to December 27.

Thurrock in Essex has the second highest rate, up from 1,314.1 to 1,494.2, with 2,605 new cases.

Redbridge in London is in third place, where the rate has increased from 1,191.9 to 1,467.1 with 4,478 new cases.