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Covid cases rising in Kent as more patients admitted to hospital

Figures show a big rise in the number of people in hospital with coronavirus in Kent and Medway.

At the start of the month just 11 people were being treated but as of yesterday there were 101.

Daily cases are also starting to increase again this week, after they dropped by a fifth in the seven days to Saturday, July 24.

At this point there were 304 cases per 100,000 people in Kent, while in Medway there were 379.

Tonbridge and Malling has the highest infection rate of 421, while Thanet is lowest at 162.

Experts believe the sudden fall in cases may have been down to schools breaking up for the summer holidays.

But earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned we have not yet seen the impact of lifting coronavirus restrictions and yesterday 777 people across the county tested positive for coronavirus, compared to 569 on Monday - and the figure has been steadily climbing all week.

Covid cases have begun to rise again
Covid cases have begun to rise again

Eight Covid deaths have been recorded in the county since Monday, which is double the number for the week to July 16.

87% of adults in Kent and Medway have had at least one jab, with about seven in ten fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, there's been a worrying rise in the number of unvaccinated pregnant women requiring hospital treatment for severe Covid-19 symptoms.

Research from the University of Oxford shows mums-to-be are at greater risk from the Delta variant - with one in ten admissions needing intensive care, and one in five giving birth prematurely.

England's Chief Midwife, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, is encouraging expectant mothers to get jabbed as soon as they can.

"A lot of people have caught Covid whilst pregnant and have been absolutely fine, but ultimately you could be very, very poorly as well..."

She says evidence shows there are no extra safety concerns for pregnant women who take the recommended Moderna or Pfizer jabs.

But Holly Boswell from Maidstone, who gave birth to her baby son earlier this month, says previous guidance hasn't been clear enough.

She didn't get the vaccine while pregnant, and says "there wasn't really any advice put in place, it was rarely spoken about by the midwives".

Holly says she didn't want to take any risks while carrying her first child, and was even led to believe she shouldn't have the Covid jab.

She said: "When I got the message from the NHS to book it, one of the decline options was 'because I was pregnant or breastfeeding' so it almost seemed at that time that the guidance was to not book it if you were pregnant.

"Me and my partner thought, well I've come this far, there was no point jinxing anything - it was just a bit worrying I think but obviously now they're saying women can have it.

"I felt like it was a catch-22 scenario, if I didn't have the vaccine I'm playing with fire and I'm going to end up catching it somehow.

"The fact that I was carrying an unborn child as well - you want to protect them - so I'm already having the flu jab and a whooping cough vaccine. I didn't want to put another one in my body just in case it wasn't safe.

"You can go for advice from the GPs and the midwives and health visitors etc. but you've just got to weigh up the pros and cons.

"A lot of people have caught Covid whilst pregnant and have been absolutely fine, but ultimately you could be very very poorly as well."

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