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Coronavirus: Small fall in West Norfolk cases as concerns grow over Indian variant

Coronavirus infections in West Norfolk are falling slightly, according to latest data, despite concerns over the so-called Indian variant of the disease.

Health chiefs have confirmed that cases of the new strain are present in the county, though they say the numbers are "very small."

And residents are again being urged to book vaccinations following a further extension to the priority groupings.

Coronavirus news.
Coronavirus news.

Latest figures for the seven days to last Wednesday, May 12, showed 40 coronavirus cases in West Norfolk, down two on the previous week.

The borough's rolling infection rate stood at 26.4 cases per 100,000 people - one of the lowest figures recorded since late March, but still higher than any other district of the county.

The total number of cases recorded across Norfolk was also down, by one, to 163, with a rolling infection rate of 18 per 100,000 people.

Cases were recorded to be rising in several districts, including North Norfolk.

Concerns have been growing in recent days over the spread of a new coronavirus variant which was originally discovered in India.

Some government ministers have suggested that moves to lift the final limits on social gatherings in June could be delayed if cases continue to rise, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson is so far playing down the possibility.

Norfolk County Council's director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said: “We’re seeing cases of the variant first identified in India being recorded across the country and, like in other parts of the country, there have been a very small number in Norfolk.

"We continue to work closely with Public Health England who are monitoring the situation closely.

“The ways to prevent spread of this variant remain the same – getting a vaccination when it’s offered, getting tested regularly, following current lockdown restrictions – including quarantine rules for those who have travelled - keeping our distance from others, wearing face coverings as appropriate and, now more indoor meeting is allowed, allowing in lots of fresh air when meeting up indoors.”

People aged 36 and over can now book their coronavirus vaccine after the programme was further extended today.

Meanwhile, the latest update from the Office for National Statistics, released this morning, showed no coronavirus deaths across all settings in West Norfolk during the week ending May 7 - the fourth successive week with a zero figure.

The total number of Covid-related deaths at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital also remains unchanged at 480.

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