Kent’s level 2 hopes weakened as coronavirus rates continue to rise

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Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Kent – undermining hopes of lifting Level 3 restrictions by Christmas.

A recent cap in weekly numbers across the county had appeared to pave the way for the Garden of England to fall to a lower level when restrictions are reviewed in two weeks.

But figures released today show the trend has been reversed, with Kent’s infection rate on the rise again.

There were 274 recorded infections per 100,000 population in Kent during the week of November 13 – that figure only rose 1.5% a week later.

But by November 27, it had risen again by 2.5%, with the number of new infections rising to 4,503.

Swale remains the hardest hit area but could soon be replaced by Medway, who now sits in second place.

Rates in Ashford have climbed by a third in the past seven days, despite the decline the week before.

And in Maidstone, it went from 270 to 346 over the same period.

The rate in Canterbury, however, continued to fall – down 6% – while Thanet’s fell for the second week in a row, by 6% in the seven days to November 27.

Downing Street has come under pressure from some Kent MPs to take a more localized approach so that areas with the lowest rates are not penalized.

Seven met with the prime minister on Monday to voice their concerns, but it remains to be seen whether their efforts will translate into a shift in focus on December 16.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock.  Photo: Mark Westley
Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Photo: Mark Westley

In an exchange on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said more localized restrictions could be introduced.

When asked if the levels could be broken down “away from counties and metropolitan areas and into districts,” he replied, “Of course we will look at the country based on the epidemiology, depending on the human geography of the places. of life and work how the virus is transmitted.

“For example, as of today there are areas of the country that are in a county that need a higher level of restrictions, like Slough. ”

Presenter Mishal Husain stepped in, asking, “This is exactly what the people of Kent and Lancashire and other areas would like to see for them?” ”

Mr Hancock replied: “It is true, and where it is appropriate is what we will do.” ”

“December 16?” She insisted.

“Yes”, confirmed the Secretary of Health.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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