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Four districts see a drop in Covid-19 but cases rise in Kent and Medway overall

Four areas of Kent have seen a drop in Covid-19 cases after weeks of county-wide rises.

Kent and Medway recorded 14,490 new cases in the week ending December 23, a 7.7% rise on the previous week, bringing the infection rate up to 779 per 100,000 people.

Source: Public Health England
Source: Public Health England

Areas which saw a drop in the last week included Swale (-14%), Thanet (-13%), Dover (-13%) and Ashford (-1%). The last time the county saw cases drop was the week ending November 25.

However, the remaining nine districts all saw a rise in cases, with Sevenoaks seeing the highest rise at 58%.

Despite having the lowest infection rate of 535.7 and the lowest number of new cases, Tunbridge Wells had the third highest rise in cases in the last week at 43%.

Medway maintains the highest infection rate at 1,037.7 after 2,890 new cases were recorded in the last week. More than one in 100 people in the unitary authority have Covid-19.

Gravesham and Dartford are swiftly moving up the ranking for highest infection rates.

Source: Public Health England
Source: Public Health England

In the week ending December 16, they held the 6th and 7th highest infection rates and in the week ending December 23 they are now 2nd and 3rd.

Thanet on the other hand has significantly dropped, with an infection rate of 646.1 landing the district in 9th on December 16 dropping to 565.8 on December 23 leaving the area in 12th.

Weekly deaths have dropped slightly to 207 from 213 in the week ending December 16.

However, October 6 was the last day no weekly deaths were recorded as they have steadily risen ever since.

This has had a knock-on effect on hospital capacity as figures show there are more Covid-19 patients in hospitals now than the pandemic's peak in April.

Source: Public Health England
Source: Public Health England

According to a student paramedic, Medway Hospital had 20 ambulances waiting outside the hospital last night with some waiting up to six hours for help.

The rise in cases in the county has caused many to call for schools to remain closed after the winter break.

North Thanet MP, Sir Roger Gale, is urging the government to consider keeping schools closed until staff can be vaccinated.

He said: "Teachers and parents need a clear and definitive statement that schools will not be required to reopen in January until effective vaccination is made available to teaching staff.

"Education is important but so are the lives and wellbeing of teachers and key working parents need time to plan for the care of their children."

Though there is still growing hope on the horizon as vaccinations continue to be distributed. Darent Valley Hospital started its worker and patient vaccination programme just a few days ago.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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