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Covid-19 in Cambridgeshire: County has worst day for coronavirus deaths yet - plus case numbers for your area



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Cambridgeshire has had its worst day for Covid-19 deaths so far, after 14 were recorded on January 18.

The three deadliest days of the pandemic have all fallen within an eight-day period. There were 12 deaths on January 15 and 11 on January 10.

Covid-19 cases have begun to fall amid lockdown restrictions, but numbers remain high
Covid-19 cases have begun to fall amid lockdown restrictions, but numbers remain high

On January 7, there were 10 - which equalled the previous highest total, set on April 17, 2020 and matched on April 30, 2020.

Below we look in detail at infection rates and deaths for every neighbourhood and district of Cambridgeshire, where the good news was that case numbers have fallen this week.

However, the pressure on hospitals is still exceptionally high, as the current wave of infections has leds to record numbers of patients being admitted.

Addenbrooke’s Hospital said this week it was still planning for a peak of 300-500 coronavirus patients on its wards.

There have been 141 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the county in January alone, with six of the top highest daily death figures falling this month, and the rest coming in April 2020.

The figures came as the government warned there was some evidence that the new variant of Covid-19, which has spread so quickly since before Christmas, was associated with a slightly higher mortality rate.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, suggested the new variant could increase the mortality rate by nearly a third for men in their 60s who have Covid-19.

For a thousand people in this group who became infected with the old variant, roughly 10 would be expected to die – whereas with the new variant it might be 13 or 14, with similar increases in mortality rates across the age ranges.

“I want to stress that there’s a lot of uncertainty around these numbers and we need more work to get a precise handle on it, but it obviously is of concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility, as it appears of today,” said Sir Patrick.

Lockdown restrictions are having an effect, however, with case numbers falling in the seven days to January 17 in every area of the county and, albeit very slowly, in neighbouring Peterborough, as we detail below.

Cambridge

There were four coronavirus-related deaths confirmed on Friday January 22 in Cambridge, the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic began. Only April 22, when five deaths were recorded, was worse.

It took the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 63.

There have been 86 deaths mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate by January 8.

But in the community, case numbers are declining.

There were 413 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Cambridge in the week to January 17, down 137 (24.9 per cent) on the previous week.

It meant the infection rate was 330.9 per 100,000 people, below the national average.

Daily Covid-19 case numbers since the start of December. Graphic: GOV.UK
Daily Covid-19 case numbers since the start of December. Graphic: GOV.UK

Every area of the city recorded cases in double figures, with Trumpington again worst hit, with 55, followed by East Barnwell and Abbey, with 44. West Chesterton, with 12 cases, had the fewest. All areas recorded a decline in cases, except Eddington and Castle, where there were 15 cases, as there were the previous week.

There have now been 4,639 laboratory-confirmed cases in Cambridge since the pandemic began.

Daily data shows 196 of these were in the five days to January 22, suggesting the fall in the infection rate is continuing.

This will be welcomed at Addenbrooke’s, which warned this week that it was still admitting high numbers of patients. There were 241 Covid-19 patients on its wards last Sunday (January 17).

South Cambridgeshire

South Cambridgeshire witnessed a 27.6 per cent decline in case numbers in the week to January 17, with 435 cases, down 166 on the previous week.

It took the infection rate down to 273.4 cases per 100,000, below the national average.

The highest numbers were seen in Histon, Impington and Orchard Park, where there were 53 cases, although this was down from 65 in the week to January 10.

Waterbeach and Landbeach had the next highest, with 37 cases, down from 33.

Only three areas recorded an increase in cases: Cottenham, where numbers grew from 20 to 29, Little Shelford, Foxton and Haslingfield, where infections rose from 12 to 22, and Willingham and Over, where there 19 cases, up from 15.

There have been 78 deaths within 28 days of a positive test in South Cambridgeshire since the pandemic began, including 29 this month.

East Cambridgeshire

East Cambridgeshire recorded 253 cases in the week to January 17, down 50 (16.5 per cent) week-on-week.

It took the infection rate to 281.6 cases per 100,000, below the national average.

Every area of the district recorded cases, with Soham worst affected for the third week running. It recorded 50 new cases, down slightly on 52 the previous week.

Three areas recorded an increase - Littleport had 43 cases, up from 39, Little Downham and Sutton recorded 25 cases, up from 19, and South Ely had 18 confirmed infections, up from 17.

There have now been 2,296 confirmed cases in the district. Daily data shows 118 cases in the five days to January 22, suggesting the rate of infection is continuing to fall as lockdown restrictions have an impact.

There have been 59 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, including 16 this month to date. If all deaths mentioning Covid-19 on death certificates up to January 8 are taken into account, there have been 64 in East Cambridgeshire.

Huntingdonshire

Huntingdonshire recorded 652 cases in the week to January 17, down 216 (24.9 per cent) on the previous week. The infection rate was 366.4 cases per 100,000, close to the national average.

The worst affected area was St Neots Eynesbury, with 59 cases, down from 63 the previous week, followed by St Ives North, which had 50 cases. This was up from 43 - making it one of the five areas that saw increases this week. The others were Huntingdon Central and West (43, up 2), Huntingdon Hartford (22, up 8), Sawtry and Gidding (17, up 4) and Warboys and Bury (34, up 5).

There have been 5,724 confirmed cases in the district since the pandemic began.

Daily case data shows 262 infections in the five days to January 22, suggesting the infection rate is continuing to fall as lockdown restrictions take effect.

There were four coronavirus-related deaths confirmed on January 22, the joint fourth highest daily total since the pandemic began. It means there have been 169 in Huntingdonshire since the pandemic began, including 40 this month.

Fenland

There were 405 cases in the week to January 17, down 110 (21.4 per cent) week on week.

The infection rate in Fenland was the highest in Cambridgeshire, however, at 397.6 cases per 100,000 people, which is close to the national average.

Wisbech South and Peckover was worst affected with 96 cases, up one on the previous week.

Two other areas recorded increases - March West had 59 cases, up 10, while March North had 32 infections, up 3 week on week.

There have now been 3,568 positive tests in Fenland since the pandemic began.

Daily case data shows 262 cases in the five days to January 22.

Two more deaths within 28 days of a positive test were recorded on Friday (January 22), taking the total this month in Fenland to 35 and the total since the pandemic began to 146.

Peterborough

Peterborough’s infection rate is well above the national average, at 520.6 cases per 100,000 people.

There were 1,053 cases recorded in the week to January 17, down just 61 (5.5 per cent) on the previous week - a much slower decline than any area of neighbouring Cambridgeshire.

Worst hit again was Central Park with 92 cases, down 17 week-on-week, followed by Peterborough Central, where case numbers rose from 85 to 87.

Eleven areas of Peterborough recorded increases in the number of infections.

Daily case data shows a further 544 cases in the five days to January 22, giving some hope that the rate of infection may be slowing down.

An unwanted milestone was passed this week, as the total number of confirmed cases in Peterborough since the pandemic began soared into five figures, with 10,742.

Four more deaths within 28 days of a positive test were also recorded in the city on Friday (January 22), taking the total to 233, including 60 this month alone.

The national picture - and concern over variants

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty told a press conference on Friday (January 22) that while infections were falling and hospital admissions were beginning to “flatline” – the situation across the country remained “extremely precarious”.

“A very small change and it could start taking off again from an extremely high base,” he said. “If that happened again, we would be in really, really deep trouble.”

Government figures showed a further 1,401 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday (January 22), bringing the UK total to 95,981.

Prof Whitty warned it would be some weeks before we can expect a a fall in the numbers of hospitalisations, while the peak of deaths “may well be still in the future”.

Meanwhile, as the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines continues apace, scientists at the Cambridge-led COG-UK consortium are playing a key role in monitoring the impact of new variants of Covid-19.

Sir Patrick Vallance said on Friday that while there was growing evidence that the vaccines would be effective against the UK variant, there was uncertainty over how well it would work against those from South Africa and Brazil.

“We know less about how much more transmissible they are. We are more concerned that they have certain features that might (make them) be less susceptible to vaccines.

“They are definitely of more concern than the one in the UK at the moment, and we need to keep looking at it and studying it very carefully,” he said.

He stressed the evidence remained uncertain and that there was no sign the South African or Brazilian variants had any “transmission advantages” over those in the UK and so would not be expected to spread more quickly or “take over”.

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