Published: 18:25, 17 January 2021
| Updated: 18:26, 17 January 2021
The Covid-19 infection rate in Kent has hit its lowest level for almost a month.
Latest figures published today reveal weekly cases have fallen by 29% as people across the county continue to observe a third national lockdown.
Reassuringly, rates are dropping in all of Kent's 12 districts and boroughs, as well as in Medway, where public health statistics are recorded separately.
The biggest decrease has been seen in Swale, which at one point was seen as the Covid capital of the UK.
Cases there have dropped 44% in a week.
It leaves Kent with a rate of 561 cases per 100,000 people - 29% down on the week and against a pandemic high of 869 on January 4.
Not since December 13 has it been as low.
The rate for England has also fallen to 538, bolstering hopes the national lockdown will not be extended beyond its widely-predicted March end date.
Earlier today, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said people in the country are being vaccinated four times faster than new cases of the virus are being detected.
He told the Andrew Marr Show some hospitals would open for vaccinations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on a trial basis in the next 10 days.
But he also warned of the current "extreme pressure" on the NHS, describing the pandemic as "unique event" in its 72-year history.
He said patient numbers nationally had risen by 15,000 since Christmas.
In Kent, there were 1,247 hospital beds occupied by a Covid-19 patient on January 12 - 10% down on the week before.