The coronavirus infection rate across Kent and Medway has tumbled by 23% in the past week, bringing the county’s figure to half England’s average.

But in one borough a slight increase bucked the national trend.

Cases in Gravesham crept up by 2% to 111 in the week to Thursday, February 18.

It was a low rise which meant the rate of infection per 100,000 people in Kent’s least populated borough was just 103.

That was still below the national average of 122.7 but significantly higher than Kent’s average of 66.6 and Medway’s 75.4, both of which were down by 23% on the previous week.

Elsewhere Maidstone saw a huge 40% week-on-week fall, with 181 cases recorded in the seven-day period, giving it a rate of 62.9.

Part of the reason for this could be the previous week’s surge testing for the South African variant.

Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells sit at the bottom of the table in terms of rate.

Tunbridge Wells had the lowest rate of 46.3, a fall of 30%, while Tonbridge and Malling’s 46.9 was 2% down.

It comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled his ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown.

The four-stage process has an anticipated earliest possible end date of June 21, at which point the vast majority of measures will be lifted and life can return to some form of normal.

But four tests must be passed before each stage goes ahead.

The vaccine deployment programme must continue successfully, evidence must show vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates must not risk a surge in hospitalisations and new variants must not significantly change things.

Gravesend High Street and Heritage Quarter during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Picture: Chris DaveyGravesend High Street and Heritage Quarter during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Picture: Chris Davey
Gravesend High Street and Heritage Quarter during the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Picture: Chris Davey

In the week to February 22 there were 120 Covid-19 deaths registered at Kent’s hospitals.

During the first wave of the virus between March and August hospitals in the county recorded 1,062, since September they have recorded an additional 2,387.

In other coronavirus news KentOnline has analysed vaccination figures for the county which show a third of adults have had their coronavirus jab, meaning at the current rate all adults in Kent will receive a dose by April 21.

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