Number of people with Covid in Harborough has plunged by more than half in two weeks

But NHS staff are still under a massive amount of pressure - all of those people seriously ill in ICU beds at the moment have not been vaccinated

By Red Williams
Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:48 pm

The number of people with Covid in Harborough has plunged by more than half since topping a record 2,000 cases per 100,000 a fortnight ago, it’s emerged today.

The rate of Omicron infection in Harborough district from Sunday January 9 to Saturday January 15 stood at 938.9, the latest figures show.

That’s just below the current rate of 973.5 for Leicestershire and 967.4 for the whole of England.

Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health

And it’s plummeted since the infection rate hit an all-time high of 2,025 cases per 100,000 in Harborough in the period leading up to Sunday January 9.

Talking to the Harborough Mail, Mike Sandys, Leicestershire’s Director of Public Health, said this afternoon: “The good news is that the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Harborough has dropped sharply over the last two weeks or so.

“We saw a massive spike here in cases over Christmas and the New Year.

“But on the other side of the coin the current rate is still much higher than the peak of about 660 that we saw in Harborough before the Omicron strain came along,” said Mike.

“So I’m obviously pleased that we’ve seen a big fall in the figures.

“At the moment all of the districts and areas in Leicestershire are tightly bunched together.

“Oadby and Wigston are the worst hit with 1,066 cases per 100,000.

“But we are still seeing a lot of Covid out there.

“And there is absolutely no room for complacency or thinking that this pandemic is over – because it isn’t.”

Asked how the highly-infectious Omicron variant is hitting different age groups in Harborough, Mike replied: “About a third of cases are affecting the school age population.

“That percentage is slightly up on what it was over Christmas.

“But broadly speaking we are seeing Covid right across all age bands in the district at the minute.

“We all have to work as hard as we can still to keep on bringing down the infection rate,” stressed the county’s vastly-experienced public health chief.

“To use a football analogy we’ve been shipping four or five goals a match.

“We are still leaking at least two goals a game.

“So we still have a lot of work to do to tighten up at the back.

“Some of the public messaging seems to have got a bit muddled up as cases fall nationally.

“I know that certain restrictions are set to be lifted.

“But we certainly cannot throw caution to the wind just yet,” insisted Mike.

“This virus will keep bubbling along for the foreseeable future.

“I know that wearing a mask will no longer be mandatory in shops and other indoor spaces in England from later next week.

“But just because it won’t be legally compulsory doesn’t mean to say that you don’t have to wear one.

“I’ll still be putting on my face covering when I nip out to my local shop for the time being that’s for sure.

“I’m also calling on people in Harborough to continue to regularly wash their hands, ventilate their homes, keep their distance and not to mix with too many other people inside.

“This isn’t just about keeping yourself safe and well.

“We’ve also got to do all we can to protect our communities and other people around us – especially the clinically vulnerable.

“If we all pull out all the stops to push back Covid then hopefully we can all start to enjoy a much more normal life again by the spring as the better weather and longer days come along,” said Mike.

Leicestershire’s respected health supremo said the number of patients in Leicester’s three big hospitals with the virus has fallen slightly over the last few days.

“We had about 270 people being treated at hospital with the coronavirus last week – and that’s now dropped into the 250s.

“Our NHS staff are still under a massive amount of pressure.

“But it’s good that there are only six or seven very ill patients currently being nursed in our intensive care unit (ICU) beds,” said Mike.

And imploring people to go out and get the booster jab now, he issued a blunt warning: “All of those people seriously ill in our ICU beds in Leicester at the moment have not been vaccinated.

“So my message to everyone out there is simple – if you want to die of Covid then don’t get vaccinated.

“The choice is yours.”