Latest coronavirus figures providing a glimmer of hope

New figures provide some hope that virus levels are starting to come under control in the West Midlands.

New local restrictions come into force in Wolverhampton today
New local restrictions come into force in Wolverhampton today

Weekly statistics reveal that the majority of towns, cities and boroughs across the region saw a drop in cases.

This is a step forward from a situation where almost every area of the West Midlands was seeing a rise.

The figures come after local lockdown restrictions were put in place in Sandwell, Birmingham and Solihull, with Wolverhampton following suit today.

Each of those areas saw a drop in the rate of infections per 100,000, providing encouragement for civic leaders who have been asking people to restrict social interaction in order to tackle the spread of Covid-19 in the region.

Figures for much of the West Midlands are still far higher than they were a month ago and are a source of concern, with Birmingham’s rate of 82.9 more than four times the national average.

The rolling figures, for the seven days to September 17, are based on tests carried out in laboratories and in the wider community.

Data for the most recent three days, September 18-20, has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.

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While the West Midlands remains a cause for concern, other areas are particularly badly hit.

In Bolton, 540 new cases were recorded. Its rate per 100,000 is 187.8, although that is down from 213.2 in the seven days to September 10.

Other areas recording sharp increases in their seven-day rates include Liverpool, up from 96.4 to 138.1, and Preston, up from 103.4 to 148.1. South Tyneside and Manchester have also shown big jumps with rates above 100 per 100,000.

The list has been calculated based on Public Health England data published on September 20 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard. It shows large areas of the country remain largely untouched by coronavirus. Remote North Norfolk has just one case per 100,000 and is listed as the area with the least number of infections in England.

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