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Covid-19: Peterborough cases rise rapidly in one month

On September 14, just over a month ago, there was officially one case of Covid-19 in Peterborough. Times have changed.
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Cases are rising rapidly in Peterborough

Our interactive graph below shows the current state of play using data from Public Health England, with the yellow line signifying the rolling seven-day average.

That average, for so long a plummeting number, is now on the increase, and contributing to a total tally of 2,135 cases for our city, a rate of 1055.6 per 100,000 people. On October 6 alone there were 31 new cases, although this number has started to dip again since then.

Nationally there are now 4,650 patients in hospital, 516 of whom are on ventilators. Yesterday there were 137 deaths. 

In our area, a spokesperson for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust said that the number of patients with Covid-19 could not be disclosed, as it may identify them given that numbers are low. 

Tragically, the death counts have also started to rise again though, and yesterday the trust updated its pages to reflect another five deaths in our hospitals.

Caroline Walker, Chief Executive, said: “I can confirm that sadly, 266 patients being cared for in our Trust have passed away since we began reporting Covid-19-related deaths. 

"There have been 103 at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and 163 at Peterborough City Hospital. All patients were aged 30 to 98 years old and had pre-existing health conditions. 

"Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients' families and loved ones at this difficult time."

This week a new classification system was introduced across England, and while Peterborough remains in the 'lowest' coronavirus tier many other parts of the country are changing designation today - see below for more details.

As we stand, our city has a 10pm curfew for bars, pubs and restaurants and gatherings of more than six people are banned (apart from weddings/funerals).

At a more local level,  we can use Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA). These are a geographic unit designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales, with an average of 7000 people per MSOA.

In Peterborough a number of MSOAs have reported cases in double figures for Covid-19, including Peterborough Centre (15), Hampton Vale (16), West Town and Woodston (11), Central Park (10) and Hargate and Orton Longueville (10). Conversely some MSOAs have two or fewer, such as Longthorpe and Netherton. 

Stamford North has 11, while Oundle, Warmington and Titchmarsh has 17. 

For comparison, Leicester City South has 40 and its neighbour Oadby North and East has 55, while in 'Higher Tier' Liverpool the Central and Islington MSOA is 230.

Health secretary Matt Hancock today confirmed parts of Cumbria, Essex, Derbyshire, Surrey and Yorkshire will move to Tier 2.

He told the Commons: "Working with local leaders in Essex and Elmbridge, we’re also moving them into local alert level high and I want to pay tribute to the leadership of Essex County Council and in Elmbridge where they have been working so hard to suppress the virus."

Mr Hancock added: "Infection rates are also rising sharply in Barrow-in-Furness, in York, in North East Derbyshire, in Erewash and Chesterfield.

"In all of these places, cases are doubling in less than a fortnight.

"For all of the areas entering the high alert level, the change will come into effect one minute past midnight on Saturday morning and this includes Barrow-in-Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield too."

On London, the Health Secretary confirmed the move from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

Matt Hancock explained: "Infection rates are on a steep upward path with the number of cases doubling every 10 days.

"The seven-day average case rate stands today at 97 rising sharply. We know from the first peak, the infection can spread fast and put huge pressures on the NHS so we must act now to prevent the need for tougher measures later on.

"So working closely with the mayor, with cross-party council leadership, with local public health officials and the national team, we’ve together agreed that London needs to move to local Covid alert level high."

Mr Hancock said "discussions are ongoing" with local leaders on moving areas classed as high to very high, and thanked the leadership in Liverpool for their "public service and cross-party teamwork" in agreeing such an increase in the alert level.

He also told the Commons: "In other areas currently in the second tier where discussions are ongoing, no further decisions have yet been made but we need to make rapid progress."

The Health Secretary said: "We must act to prevent more hospitalisations, more deaths and more economic damage – because we know from recent history that when this virus keeps growing, unless we act together to get it under control, this is the result."

He added: "This week’s NHS Test and Trace statistics show that testing capacity is up, testing turnaround times are down, and the distance travelled for tests is down too.

"And, thanks to this capacity and this analysis, we’ve been able to take a more targeted approach, keeping a close eye on the situation in local areas, bearing down hard through restrictions on a local level where they’re necessary."

Matt Hancock warned MPs that the virus is rising "exponentially" in the UK.

The Health Secretary told the Commons: "The threat remains grave and serious. In Europe, positive cases are up 40% from one week ago, and in Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands they’ve doubled in the last fortnight.

"And here, we sadly saw the highest figure for daily deaths since early June.

"Let us be under no illusions about the danger posed by this virus. Coronavirus is deadly and it is now spreading exponentially in the UK."