Covid rates above national average in Ipswich, with small rises in other areas

Health Secretary Matt Hancock during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Cov

The government announced a record number of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered on Saturday. - Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/PA

Coronavirus rates have increased in some districts of Suffolk and north Essex, with Ipswich seeing the largest rise in cases.

According to the latest government data there were 283 positive coronavirus tests in Suffolk in the week up to March 17 — 30 more positive tests than the week before.

The latest statistics compare the seven days to March 17 with the seven days to March 10.

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 case rates have risen in three districts. 

Ipswich has seen the largest rise. In the week to March 17 there were 108 cases in the town, up from 64 cases the week before.

This jump in positive cases has seen Ipswich become the only district in the region where the case rate is above the national average.

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Mid Suffolk and East Suffolk also recorded smaller rises in their case rates.

In north Essex case rate rises were recorded in Tendring and Uttlesford. 

Part of the reason for the recent increase in case rates could be down to the the recently introduced asymptomatic testing in schools.

Last week it was reported that this testing had found 47 cases.

As a result of these positive tests around 100 students are self-isolating.

On Friday it was announced the UK's R number had increased slightly from 0.6-0.8 to 0.6-0.9 — suggesting the pandemic is now shrinking more slowly.

The R number represents the average number of people each person with Covid-19 goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

However, this all comes as the government announced a record number of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered on Saturday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Yesterday was a record-breaking day for the vaccine rollout, with 873,784 people receiving a jab.

“A huge thank you to everyone involved and please come forward to get your jab when you are invited to do so.”

Government data up to March 20 shows that 29,859,742 jabs have been given in the UK so far.

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