Coronavirus case rate in England drops almost 40 per cent in a week as Leicester restrictions are questioned

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COVID-19 cases in England have dipped by almost 40 per cent in the past week including towns facing a Leicester style lockdown. 

Official figures published last night show that despite the coronavirus lockdown being eased more than a fortnight ago the number of patients testing positive is in freefall. 

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Reuters

Shoppers are seen walking past social distancing signs in London following the outbreak of COVID-19 disease[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Ten per cent of all the recent UKs Covid-19 deaths occurred in Leicester, which became the first British city to be put into regional lockdown[/caption]

Coronavirus case rate in England drops almost 40 per cent in a week
Coronavirus case rate in England drops almost 40 per cent in a week

The figures, compiled during the seven days ending June 27, suggested the new measures introduced on July 15 appeared to have had no effect on the spread of Covid-19. 

This includes opening nonessential shops, outdoor attractions and secondary schools.

This “super-Saturday” lockdown measures will be further relaxed with pubs and restaurants able to open in England with social distancing restrictions reducing to one metre. 

The data, contained in a Public Health England report, shows the number of cases fell from 10.7 cases per 100,000 population to 6.7 in just a week, a drop of 37.4 per cent. 

‘DATA SHOWS NO REASON TO LOCKDOWN LEICESTER’

The figures, reported by the Daily Telegraph, reveal that Leicester was put into lockdown when its infection rate was 20 times higher than the country as a whole.

This could suggest lockdowns in towns on a government watch list may be unnecessary.

The data actually showed Leicester was recording a decline in the rate of cases, from 140.2 to 135.7 per 100,000, before Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, locked down the city. 

In light of the figures, Prof Carl Heneghan, the director of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford, claimed there was no justification for shutting down Leicester as it fell far short of epidemic levels which was 400 cases per 100,000 population.


Bradford, the second worst-hit, recorded a fall from 72.8 per 100,000 to just 42.8 over the same period.

Doncaster and Bolton, which at the bottom of the list of 10, showed rises, “albeit from a low base”. 

Last night Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, told the Telegraph the latest figures were “very good news” and ministers should only consider new local lockdowns as a “measure of the very last resort”. 

Ministers and medical experts said imposing a lockdown on Leicester was needed to prevent the outbreak spiralling out of control.

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