The UK is now under its third national lockdown in one year. The latest figures show cases are highest in the south and east of England, with weekly cases in these areas averaging more than 800 per 100,000 people.
North Norfolk has fared better, on 384 cases per 100,000, than the rest of East Anglia, but parts of western Scotland remain the only areas to have less than 100 new cases per 100,000 a week.
The total number of cases in the UK has increased to over three million, and the latest daily figure shows 54,940 new cases. Whilst high, this is a decrease from the record high of 68,000 cases on Friday 8th January. There are currently over 32,00 people in hospital with Covid-19 and the death toll has risen to over 81,00. This statistic refers to the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. Other statistics place the total number of deaths significantly higher.
An estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests one in 50 people in England could have coronavirus. England has seen the brunt of deaths from the virus, with the figure for deaths within 28 days of a positive test standing at 70,000. However, England has also seen the greatest number of vaccinations carried out, around 300,000 first doses of a vaccine being administered in the week ending January 3rd.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that 1.5 million people in the UK have had at least one injection of a Covid-19 vaccine. Health Secretary Matt Hancock placed the figure closer to two million.
Norfolk County council has issued a plea to residents of the area, asking them to self-isolate the minute they receive medical advice to do so. The plea was issued in the hopes of decreasing the spread of coronavirus whilst the council prepares to roll out more testing to target asymptomatic carriers.
During the approach to Christmas, the council trialled a new system of lateral flow tests, which can give results in 30 minutes. Their intention is for this to soon be extended across Norfolk.
Deputy Public Health Director for Norfolk Diane Steiner said: “We are building our capacity so we will have a greater ability to take testing to areas where we think problems are developing.
“We are not talking about fixed sites or citywide testing like they had in Liverpool, but targeted to where it is needed most.
“People with symptoms can still use the normal methods of getting tested, but this is about identifying asymptomatic people.”
More than 30 people were fined across Norfolk over the weekend of January 10th by the police for breaching lockdown restrictions. An additional 96 people were issued with warnings. Most of the fines were issued in coastal areas, to people mixing households or travelling distances to exercise deemed greater than necessary.
The virus has also been responsible for the cancellation of the Altrincham-King’s Lynn football match, originally scheduled for January 22nd. King’s Lynn have said the decision was due to a “procedural error” with regards to the case of team member Aaron Jones, who developed Covid-19 over the Christmas period.