South Tyneside's coronavirus infection rate begins to fall amid warning covid deaths peak is still to come

South Tyneside’s coronavirus case rate has fallen from a New Year peak.

Friday, 15th January 2021, 6:47 pm

New figures from Public Health England show how case numbers have changed in the first days of 2021.

The weekly rate data covering up to Saturday, January 9 shows there were 617 new cases confirmed in the previous seven days, the equivalent of 408.7 infections for every 100,000 people in the city.

That is a fall of 132 on the 749 new cases confirmed in the week running up to New Year’s Day, when the weekly rate was 496.1 new cases per 100,000.

Sunderland's weekly coronavirus case rate has more than doubled since Christmas

The highest number of new cases confirmed in a single day was 148, on January 4. Yesterday there were 40.

Medical experts had warned the easing of the restrictions imposed under the Government’s three tier system of virus alert might lead to a new spike in infections at a time of year when hospitals were already stretched.

Their concerns eventually led Ministers to scale back a planned five-day lifting of the regulations to only allow people to mix indoors on Christmas Day itself.

And the rapid spread of the new variant of the disease saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce a third national lockdown days later, which came into effect on Wednesday, January 3.

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A leading scientist has warned that although infections has peaked in the UK, deaths and hospital admissions have not yet reached their peak.

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter of the Statistical Laboratory at Cambridge University said the peak in infections had passed “a good few days ago”, however coronavirus deaths are likely to peak in the next week to 10 days.

“They are likely to level off in a week – 10 days maybe – at a peak which is probably going to be bigger than the first wave peak of 1,000-a-day, but then should decline due the reductions in cases that we are seeing and, of course, the vaccine programme,” he told BBC Radio 4.

The Government’s chief medical advisor Professor Chris Whitty told Friday’s Downing Street press conference: “The peak of deaths I fear is in the future.

“Because people are sticking so well to the guidelines we do think the peaks are coming over the next week to 10 days for most places.”

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