UK lockdown map: Areas with highest Covid case rates pinpointed

Matt Hancock discusses coronavirus risk to those in their 60s

The UK recorded a further 46,169 Covid cases and 529 deaths on Monday, January 11. The latest data takes the total number of fatalities within 28 days of returning a positive coronavirus test result to 81,690. Since the pandemic first started in March 2020, there have been more than three million confirmed cases in Britain, which puts the country in the fifth-highest position in the world according to analysis by Johns Hopkins University.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned at Monday’s Downing Street briefing the UK is at the “worst point” of the pandemic.

Mr Hancock said the new variant of the virus was putting the NHS under “significant pressure”, adding it was now “imperative” that people limit how much social contact they get.

The Health Secretary said: “The NHS, more than ever before, needs everybody to be doing something right now – and that something is to follow the rules.

“I know there has been speculation about more restrictions, and we don’t rule out taking further action if it is needed, but it is your actions now that can make a difference.”

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Areas with highest Covid case rates

As it stands, the regions with the highest rates of Covid positive cases remains in the south-east and parts of London, according to an interactive map on the Gov.UK website.

Barking in Dagenham, in east London, currently has the nation’s highest rate of infection, with 1,078 virus cases per 100,000 people.

Data estimates one in 16 people have the virus in the area, compared to about one in 50 people across England and one in 30 in London.

The second worst-hit area in the country is the neighbouring London borough of Redbridge.

Newham and Tower Hamlets, also in east London, have both recorded rates of more than 1,200 per every 100,000 people in the past week.

In the seven days to January 6, Essex recorded a total of 15,593 new cases, putting its R-Rate at 1.047.

Thurrock in the county showed a huge caseload with 2,357 positive infections.

Chelmsford in Essex shows 951.3 positive infections per every 100,000 people, having recorded 1,697 new cases in the same period of time.

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It comes as health professions and MPs in east London and Essex have warned the NHS is at critical risk of being overwhelmed because of the recent surge.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Government could further clamp down on the rules as the cases aren’t yet under control.

Mr Zahawi said the Government is trying to avoid further restrictions, but warned the extremely contagious new variant “loves social interactions”.

The vaccines minister said: “We don’t want to introduce tougher measures. The lockdown is tough, schools are shut.

“But it’s important to remember this virus loves social interactions – that is the best way for the virus to spread.”

Mr Zahawi warned that supermarkets were a particularly prevalent breeding ground for the virus after ministers threatened to crack down on shops not properly following the rules.

The minister added: “I am worried about supermarkets, about people actually wearing masks, following the one-way system and making sure when it’s at capacity, people are waiting outside.

“I am worried about some of the pictures I’ve seen about social interaction in parks. If you have to exercise, you can go out for exercise only. We want to make sure people stay at home. That’s the message.”

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