Published: 18:55, 20 September 2020
| Updated: 18:55, 20 September 2020
New Covid-19 cases across Kent have fallen by almost a third as a second national lockdown looms.
As areas in some parts of England suffer huge spikes in positive tests, the number in the county has actually dropped by 31% in a week.
Latest figures show there were 132 new cases in the week up to September 16 - down from 191 the week before.
But as the picture in Kent improves following a spike in positive tests earlier this month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Britain is at a “tipping point” as he refuses to rule out a second lockdown across England.
The national infection rate - the number of weekly cases per 100,000 people - now sits at 32.2.
In Kent it is 7.1.
Put in context, a rate of 20 in foreign countries has been seen as the point at which the UK Government enforces travel restrictions.
Mr Hancock says there is a danger new cases could “shoot through the roof” unless effective action is taken to halt the spread of the virus.
His warning came as the Government announced anyone in England who refuses an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.
The Health Secretary says hospital admissions for the disease are doubling “every eight days” and will be followed by an increase in the number of deaths.
“This country faces a tipping point,” he told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show.
“If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns.
“But we of course have to be prepared to take action if that’s what’s necessary.
The number of people who have tested positive for the virus in Kent since the pandemic began has now passed 10,000.
The 10,058 cases account for 0.5% of the county's population.