Covid-19 case rates fall to lowest levels in seven months

14 April 2021, 19:44 | Updated: 14 April 2021, 20:38

Case rates have fallen to their lowest number since September
Case rates have fallen to their lowest number since September. Picture: PA/Ray Tang/ZUMA Wire

By Will Taylor

Covid infections have dropped below 100 cases per 100,000 people in every local area of the UK for the first time in seven months, new data shows.

Two areas, the Orkney Islands and Western Isles, have no recorded cases while Rother in East Sussex and North Devon have a rate of just 1.

The highest is 98.8 cases per 100,000 in Mansfield – but the overall picture shows how the UK has pressed down its second wave after months of lockdown and the vaccine rollout.

The last time cases were this low in every local area was in the week up to September 1.

By January 10, just five of 380 local authority areas had their case rates below 100, with some seeing cases soar to 1,000 per 100,000 people.

The figures, for the seven days to April 10, have been compiled by the PA news agency from health agency data.

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They precede the latest relaxation of restrictions in England, which saw outdoor hospitality, gyms and non-essential retail return.

The impact vaccinations have had on stopping Covid spreading continues to be assessed, with scientists expecting them to reduce transmission to a degree.

Research from the Government-commissioned React study in England, run by Imperial College London, suggested vaccines had begun "breaking the link" between infections, hospitalisations and deaths.

But Boris Johnson has credited restrictions as the main reason cases have fallen so far.

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"Of course the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown," he said.

PA analysis also shows 17% of local areas now have below 10 cases per 100,000 people, including 2.8 in Derbyshire Dales, 2.6 in the Scottish Borders and 1.1 in Monmouthshire.

Government data shows more than 4.3 million cases have been recorded since the pandemic's start, while 150,000 people have died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

More than 32 million people have been given their first dose of a Covid vaccine while 8 million have been given their second dose.