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Folkestone and Hythe district records highest Covid death rate in the UK

The Folkestone district is now recording the highest coronavirus death rate in the UK.

Updated figures show the rate for people who died within 28 days of a positive test in the district is 233.6 per 100,000 people.

Folkestone is now recording the highest death rate
Folkestone is now recording the highest death rate

This is the highest rate of all the areas across the four nations.

Wigan and Barnsley are second and third, with rates of 230.6 and 230.5 per 100,000 people respectively.

The data was released on the government's website, which is updated daily.

The figures also show that there have been 264 deaths in the Folkestone district since the start of the pandemic, which is up from 226 as reported last Monday.

Last month, KentOnline reported how the Folkestone district had the highest death rate in Kent - at a rate of 180.5 per 100,000 people - but this has now increased to make it the highest in the UK.

Damian Collins said it is 'deeply concerning'
Damian Collins said it is 'deeply concerning'

MP for the district, Damian Collins, said there had been outbreaks in care homes and that the district has an older population.

He said: "It's deeply concerning that this is the case.

"I don't think we can give a certain reason at this time as to why this is so.

"We have had a number of outbreaks in care homes and our population is older that the national average, both of which may be contributing factors.

"Our infection rates from Covid have been high at times, but have remained below some of the very high levels we have seen elsewhere in Kent.

Tougher measures could come into force tonight
Tougher measures could come into force tonight

"Also, in the early part of the autumn Folkestone and Hythe had some of the lowest infection rates in the country.

"Community testing and the delivery of the vaccine will be key to defeating the virus.

"People locally are being vaccinated, and now that the Oxford vaccine has been approved more of this can take place in the community, rather than just at the hospitals and other vaccination centres.

"Folkestone was also one of the first towns in the county to have a facility for large scale community testing."

Dover has the second highest death rate in Kent - at a rate of 182.8 deaths per 100,000 - but is 22nd overall in the UK.

Thanet and Swale have the third and fourth highest rates in Kent, with rates of 177.6 and 177.2 per 100,000.

Covid cases in Kent have reached a record level just days after Christmas.

After a short period of lower case numbers, there were 3,689 positive tests across Kent and Medway on December 29 - almost 1,000 more than on any other day since the pandemic struck.

More and more towns are now setting up community testing, including Folkestone. To see the full list, click here.

The Prime Minister is expected to introduce new emergency measures tonight to control the spread of coronavirus.

He will make an announcement at 8pm.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here

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