Midlands now UK’s COVID hotspot as infections plunge in south of England

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2 min read
Leicester is one of the top 10 COVID hotspots

The Midlands is emerging as UK's COVID hotspot while infections in South East and South West plummet.

South Derbyshire currently has the highest rates of new infections, with Leicester, North West Leicestershire and Peterborough all appearing in the top 10 UK areas.

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These are the UK’s 10 coronavirus hotspots, according to new government figures.

Downing Street's latest rolling case rate figures, for the seven days up to 5 March – the latest date for which accurate data is available – show the number of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people.

The top 10 areas are:

South Derbyshire 150.1

Clackmannanshire 149.4

Barnsley 148.7

Kingston upon Hull, City of 148.6

Rotherham 145.8

Leicester 145.1

North West Leicestershire 141.9

Redditch 140.7

Bradford 140.4

Peterborough 139.4

Watch: Is England’s Covid Infection Rate On The Rise?

Infection rates are mostly lower across the South East and South West, particularly in Cornwall and Devon, which have been hit much less hard overall.

The biggest drop in the area was seen in Mid Devon, down from 42.5 to 26.7.

Infection rates have been falling across the UK as a direct result of the lockdown and implementation of the vaccine.

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The government said a further 231 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus as of Tuesday, while there were a further 5,766 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

The death figure fell by 78% compared to a month ago.

Data up to 8 March shows that of the 23,773,959 jabs given in the UK so far, 22,592,528 were first doses – a rise of 215,273 on the previous day.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: A woman has the AstraZeneca vaccine administered into her arm at a vaccine centre in Battersea Arts Centre on March 8, 2021 in London, England. The site opened today for residents of the London Borough of Wandsworth to receive their covid-19 vaccine. To mark the initiative, Battersea Arts Centre commissioned artists including Inua Ellams, Scottee & Friends, Rosie Jones and coletivA ocupação to create works that provide a
A woman has a COVID vaccine administered in Battersea Arts Centre. (Getty)

Meanwhile, England’s chief medical officer has said he would “strongly advise” against any move to shorten the timetable for easing lockdown restrictions.

Professor Chris Whitty said there were still risks to reopening society and the UK will experience another surge of cases at some point, potentially in late summer or through the autumn and winter.

Speaking to the Commons Science and Technology Committee alongside the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, Prof Whitty said the measures pencilled in for May 17, when indoor mixing of up to six people could be allowed, involved “significant risks”.

He told MPs he would “strongly advise” against any attempt to “concertina” the five-week interval between steps, saying the 12 April measures are “a very big block”, with shops and outdoor hospitality due to open.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown