By Tatiana Zaituni and Leah Conway –
Cases and Hospitalisations
In Kirklees, the infection rate has dropped 25% over the last week with 141 people per 100,000 in Kirklees testing positive over the last seven days. However, this figure remains higher than the national average of 86 per 100,000 people.
There were 621 new confirmed cases in Kirklees over the last week with an estimated 98% of these being the Kent variant of COVID-19.
53 Kirklees residents admitted to local hospitals over the last week, which is a decrease of four compared to the previous seven days. There are currently 63 patients from Kirklees in local hospitals with Covid-19 which is lower than last week, when it was 121, but remains high.
Sadly, there were another six COVID-19 related deaths in Kirklees over the last week, however, this is a significant drop from 21 in the previous week.
In the last 7 days, there have been 46,796 confirmed positive cases nationwide, which is a drop of 24,524 compared to last week.
In the last 7 days, there have been 1783 COVID-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
This week brings us to the end of our ninth week in Lockdown. National lockdown means you should stay at home unless otherwise stated.
Schools are set to open next Monday of 8 March. For full information, visit the government website of COVID-19 guidelines.
Over 130,000 people in Kirklees have now had their first dose of the vaccine.
Kirklees Council confirmed that it is likely that the early signs of the impact of the vaccine rollout are now being seen, with hospitalisations and deaths related to Covid-19 both dropping again over the last week.
Nationally, as of this week, a total of 20,982,571 people have accepted their first vaccination. Those who have received the second dose total is 963,862.
‘We cannot become complacent’
Speaking on the latest figures, Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Strategic Director for Public Health at Kirklees Council said: “Our numbers are moving in the right direction. Infection rates, hospitalisations and deaths are all falling and alongside this, 130,000 people in Kirklees have now had at least their first dose of the vaccine.
“We’re making progress, but I must once again stress that our infection rate is still high and we need it to come down.
“The government’s national roadmap gives us a route out of lockdown but it’s down to us all to get Kirklees through it together. For restrictions to ease in line with the roadmap, one of the four tests we need to meet is to make sure infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations.
Ms Spencer-Henshall acknowledged that though the infection rate drop is a positive sign, the need to remain cautious and follow the government guidelines in as vital as ever.
She said: “We need everyone to play their part in making sure Kirklees gets through the roadmap safely.
“As a resident, the best thing you can do is stay at home as much as possible until restrictions can ease and take the vaccine when it’s your turn. If you do this, you’re playing your part in keeping yourself safe as well as your family and your community.
“If you need to leave home, remember to socially distance, wash your hands and wear a face covering. Also, remember to let plenty of fresh air into your home – this can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
“We are seeing early signs of how effective the vaccination programme has been with positive data on hospitalisations and deaths.
“Thank you to everyone who has been vaccinated and crucially to the remarkable health staff and volunteers who have made our fantastic start of the rollout possible.
This week’s COVID-19 News in Brief
Kirklees Council recently launched a ‘Community Champions scheme’, which offers grants to voluntary groups or organisation who want to spread advice about COVID-19 and vaccinations in their local network.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new Budget on 3 March, key points included the extension of the Furlough scheme until the end of September, and the £20 weekly boost to Universal Credit which was extended for another 6 months .
The Brazilian strain of COVID-19 has been found in the UK.
The International Air Transport Association is planning to launch a Travel Pass app mobile which will help travellers to save and manage the COVID-19 tests and vaccinations.
The app is designed to store negative tests and evidence needed for international travel. Over the next few weeks, the app will be trialled on Singapore airlines on the route between Singapore and London.
The WHO’s COVAX scheme to deliver vaccines to the world’s poorer countries aims to deliver 237 Million of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to 142 countries over the next 3 months.
They are calling it the ‘one true global solution to the pandemic.’ Countries that will receive the vaccines include Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan.
All data is correct at the time of writing and is subject to change as figures are updated.