Harborough's Covid rate is now one of the lowest in England - health chief discusses his theories for the sudden drop in cases

The number of people with the coronavirus in the district plummeted by almost 50 per cent

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:29 am

The current rate of Covid-19 cases in Harborough has plunged through the floor to become one of the lowest in England.

The number of people with the coronavirus in the district plummeted by almost 50 per cent to just 19 in the seven days up to Monday April 5.

And no one aged over 65 in Harborough is believed to have been infected with Covid since March 26.

The current rate of Covid-19 cases in Harborough has plunged through the floor to become one of the lowest in England.

The weekly infection rate has dropped to just 18.1 cases per 100,000 people – the lowest since last summer.

The astonishing progress being made in Harborough in the bitter 13-month battle to beat Covid is today being hailed by both the county’s health chief and district council leader Cllr Phil King.

Mike Sandys, the Director of Public Health for Leicestershire, told the Harborough Mail today: “I’d like to give a big shout out to the people of Harborough.

“This is brilliant news.

“It seems as if the tide is finally going back out after a very tough year fighting the coronavirus.”

He stressed: “At the moment Harborough is decisively the best-performing area of Leicestershire and the third lowest in terms of cases in the entire East Midlands.

“There won’t be many areas doing better than Harborough in the whole of the country.

“The rate is hovering about the 18-20 per 100,000 mark at the moment.

“We are seeing maybe two cases one day, three the next.

“We are getting just the odd case in the over-60s and the overall rate of infection has come down by about 50 per cent in the last seven days,” said Mike.

“We’ve had no appreciable outbreaks in workplaces, schools, care homes or what ever to spike it back up.

“A lot of people have already been vaccinated in Harborough and that’s obviously helping.

“But I also want to give people across Harborough a big pat on the back.

“We’ve had perhaps one or two incidents in parks where too many people have congregated.

“But people are clearly behaving very well across the board and following the rules.

“Testing is working well.

“Our lateral flow testing centre at Harborough Leisure Centre is being used extensively and that’s helping to keep the rate of infection in check.”

Mike is urging people to stay cautious as the pandemic lockdown eases again next Monday (April 12) as non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality begin to reopen.

“I’m always very wary of declaring that we have Covid under control.

“It’s still out there.

“We are now seeing the lowest infection figures since last summer – and that’s great,” said the community health expert.

“But people still have to do the basics – face, space and hands.

“You only have to look up the road at Corby.

“Corby is still just about the worst place in the country for the coronavirus – with about 165 cases per 100,000.

“Neighbouring Hinckley has almost 90.

“We can get this virus licked in the end.

“But let’s not go ballistic.

“We don’t want to go back to the boom and bust of last autumn and winter – which we’re still paying the price for.

“So let’s go out and enjoy ourselves as the spring and summer come on and the country starts to open up again.

“But stay sensible and vigilant – let’s make it stick this time round.”

Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough council, told the Mail: “I’m delighted that the rate of virus infection has fallen through the floor here in Harborough.

“The NHS have done an incredible job vaccinating so many people throughout the district – and the take-up has been huge.”

He added: “As far as I’m aware we’ve had no cases in anyone aged over 65 since March 26.

“That’s amazing when we were seeing 400 people per 100,000 being hit in January.

“The vast majority of people in Harborough are doing the right thing.

“They are being responsible and erring on the side of caution.

“We have had hundreds of youths and young adults gathering on a night in our parks and that’s got to stop because they are posing a clear threat of spreading Covid.

“But I am proud of the way the people of Harborough have tackled the dangerous coronavirus menace head on and we are finally starting to come out on the other side.”