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Covid infection rates in Liverpool City Region rising fastest in the country – Liverpool Echo

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/covid-infection-rates-liverpool-city-19606448

The Covid-19 infection rate in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) is still rising faster than anywhere else in the country.

According to new data from Public Health England, six out of the top ten places for the biggest week-on-week rise in rates per 100,000 population in the whole country are in the LCR for the week ending January 7.

The top four of the top ten places are:

1. Knowsley (up from 537.6 to 1,341.0 which is a 149% jump)

2. Halton (up from 639.8 to 1,227.1, which is a 92% jump)

3. Liverpool (up from 461.2 to 988.5, which is a 114% jump)

4. Sefton (up from 495.3 to 1,018.4, which is a 106% jump).

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While St Helens (up from 371.0 to 797.4, which is 115% jump) is currently sixth in the top ten, and Wirral (up from 560.8 to 921.3, which is 64% jump) is eighth.

Rates in London – where a Covid-19 emergency was declared on Friday because the capital’s hospitals is struggling with patient numbers – have gone down for the first time since the end of November. The London rate is 996.3 which is 0.5 per cent down week-on-week.

In terms of the highest infection rate in the country, Knowsley is currently ranked fourth overall in the country.

The fact that areas in the LCR have the fastest rising rates is worrying and a Merseyside public health official and senior politician have spoken of their serious concerns for the weeks and months ahead.

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Matthew Ashton, director of public health at Liverpool City Council, said: “They are very concerning infection rates.

“Everybody needs to be strictly following the rules. Even if you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

“In fact we have got a variant of the virus that is 50 to 70 per cent more transmissible, therefore our Covid security measures need to be 50 to 70 per cent stronger, and that is strict adherence to the rules.”

Mr Ashton said pressure on hospitals will be “immense” and despite “pandemic fatigue” the new strain meant there could be no let-up.

He added: “We are going to see more deaths. The next two months are going to be very difficult for everybody. This is literally about saving lives now.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “These are sobering figures and it’s clear that the virus is spreading very rapidly across the country, and worryingly so for the North West and in particular the Liverpool City Region.

“I’d urge everyone to be extra careful and keep doing everything to keep yourself and loved ones safe to stop our NHS being overwhelmed.”