Health chief: Rise in coronavirus cases ‘expected’
- Credit: Denise Bradley/Norfolk County Council
Norfolk’s health chief has moved to allay fears over rising coronavirus cases during the second national lockdown - highlighting that the public’s hard work will not yet reap rewards.
Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for the county, said cases which manifested prior to the lockdown’s introduction were still being detected.
It comes after the infection rate for Norfolk as a whole, as well as several of its districts, increased to record highs.
The county’s rate for the seven-day period up to November 11 was 148.6 cases per 100,000 people, and Norwich’s latest rate of 135.2 was also its highest since the pandemic began.
A record-high rate has also been measured in South Norfolk (195.2), rising from 80.2 in the week up to November 4.
In Great Yarmouth, the rate of 240.6 per 100,000 is the highest recorded by any local authority in Norfolk, while James Paget University Hospital confirmed on Tuesday that six people in its care had died after contracting the virus.
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But, speaking on Monday, Dr Smith said figures must be put into context, adding: “As we’re less than 14 days into this lockdown, we are still seeing cases coming through that relate to transmission before November 5.
“As a result, we can expect to see cases increase at this stage.
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“The real test is going to come as we head further into this lockdown, and that is why it is vital people continue to respect the rules and act responsibly.
“That means remembering to keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and cover your face where it’s needed, and being ready and willing to self-isolate if you develop symptoms, test positive or have been in close contact with someone how has tested positive.
“Only if all of us respect these rules can we hope to see cases falling over the coming weeks.”
Elsewhere in Norfolk, the only district to record a lower infection rate was King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (116.9), declining from 146 cases per 100,000 a week prior.
Concerns had been raised regarding a rapid rise in the district, which saw a discernible increase in coronavirus infections not linked to a particular source.