By Tatiana Zaituni and Leah Conway –
COVID-19 infection rates have remained at a similar level over the last week but the number of Kirklees residents being treated for the virus in local hospitals is continuing to rise.
Cases & Hospitalisations
There were 1,094 new positive COVID-19 cases in the borough over the last seven days which is a small drop of four per cent on last week.
However, there were 106 Kirklees residents admitted to local hospitals over the last week, which has increased from 89 last week.
There are currently 200 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with COVID-19 which is higher than the first peak in spring last year.
The number of COVID-19 related deaths has also increased since last week, with 26 people from Kirklees sadly losing their lives in local hospitals – up from 18 last week.
The latest data shows that in the last seven days 248 per 100,000 people in Kirklees tested positive for COVID-19, compared to the previous week when it was 258 per 100,000 people.
In the last 7 days, there have been 200,089 confirmed cases nationwide. There have been 8546 deaths within 28 days of a positive test in the last week.
This week brings us to the end of our fourth in Lockdown. National lockdown means you should stay at home unless otherwise stated. For full information visit the government website of COVID-19 guidelines.
So for in the UK, 7,447,199 people have received their first dose of the vaccine. A further 476,298 have received their second dose, meaning they are now fully vaccinated.
Speaking on the latest figures in Kirklees, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “We’ve not seen a great deal of change in COVID-19 infection rates over the last seven days, but we need to see them come down.
“The amount of Kirklees residents being treated for the virus in hospital is very high and has risen again in the last week.
“Hospital admissions are currently higher than they were during the first peak in spring and are at the same levels we saw in November when infection rates were twice as high as now.
“Sadly, the amount of COVID-19 related deaths in local hospitals has also increased in the last week, with 26 local people losing their lives.
“It’s clear that our current situation cannot continue. Too many people are still being infected each week, the amount of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals is concerning as well as the number of lives that are being lost.
“We all need to play our part in changing this urgently.
“By following all the guidance in place, you can help to ease the growing pressure on our health services and save lives.”
This Week’s UK COVID-19 News
It was announced earlier this week that over 100,000 people have died with COVID-19 in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “We did everything we could.” and “I’m deeply sorry for every life lost.”
The new Novavax vaccine has been trialed by the NHS.
So far, the large-scale trials in the UK have shown it to be 89.3% effective at preventing COVID-19. And around 86% effective against the new strain.
The jab will undergo approval by the UK’s medicine’s regulator and can be expected to be delivered in the second half of 2021 if approved.
There are also hopes for a new breakthrough COVID-19 treatment using an experimental drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. It is now being trialled by the NHS.
Regarding schools, Matt Hancock was interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show on the 24th of January. He said, “We’re really clear we want to get schools back and as safe as we can, but we have to watch the data.
“Of course I hope schools go back after Easter and the vaccination programme is going fast. But we’ve got to make sure that we get the cases down and we’ve got to protect the country from new variants coming in from abroad.”
This has received some backlash from some Conservative MPs and campaign group UsForThem.
British nationals and those residency rights are now required to quarantine if travelling from high-risk COVID-19 countries in South America and Southern Africa.
Travellers – including British nationals – must be isolated for ten days when they return to the UK.
The government says they are actively working on stricter rules, so people coming from high-risk countries will be required to quarantine at a hotel, and that quarantine rules are tightly enforced.
Those isolating in the hotel may have to pay for the accommodation themselves.
The head of AstraZeneca has had to defend their roll-out plan for the vaccine in the EU, amid tensions over supply and delays.