Coronavirus cases rose 30% last week as the impact of lifting restrictions began to show.

However, vaccinations are still on the rise, as nearly 100,000 more people were trapped last week.

Medway South Primary Care Network Clinical Director Dr Satvinder Lall discusses his milestone of administering 50,000 jabs

Kent and Medway recorded 309 cases in the week ending April 24 – up from 239 the week before – bringing the infection rate to 16.6.

Nine of the county’s 13 regions have seen an increase in cases. Only Canterbury, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Swale saw a decline.

A few areas have seen cases more than double, including Gravesham increasing by 210%, Thanet by 105.9% and Dover by 200%.

Gravesham has the highest infection rate of 29 after seeing cases triple last week, registering a total of 31.

Folkestone and Hythe maintain the lowest infection rate of 7.1 after a 33.3% increase in cases.

Source: Public Health England

However, due to a slight drop ahead of this week’s rise, cases have only risen 5.5% in Kent since restrictions were eased significantly on April 12 – from 293 to 309.

Importantly, the numbers are still very low compared to the peaks in Wave 2, and even slight increases in cases have resulted in a large percentage increase.

Andrew Scott-Clark, Director of Public Health for Kent, said: ‘We will see slight increases in cases in Kent as COVID-19 continues to circulate and there are now regular testing programs in schools. , workplaces and test sites without Kent symptoms. .

“Home test kits are now available in hundreds of pharmacies across Kent. This means that these cases are identified early and people are able to self-isolate, rather than continuing to spread Covid-19 without knowing it.

“We continue to see clusters of households and nursing homes and, at this point in the pandemic, even small increases are dramatically affecting local rates.

“We are also seeing an increase in cases among the adolescent population due to an increase in testing and some transmission of cases.

Andrew Scott-Clarke, Director of Health at Kent County Council
Andrew Scott-Clarke, Director of Health at Kent County Council

“We continue to urge high school students and their families to all take tests twice a week in order to break the chain of transmission.

“What the numbers clearly show is that we cannot be complacent. The latest case numbers indicate that the virus continues to circulate.

“There are two key things people should be doing now; twice-weekly testing will isolate cases and ensure they are contained; and everyone should continue to observe social distancing guidelines – hands, face, space and fresh air.

“The rule of six means people should continue to limit their social interactions for now and this is vital with regular testing to make sure we don’t see widespread outbreaks.”

The good news is that vaccinations are also on the rise, with 11% more being given in the week ending April 25.

Of the total 1,295,712 vaccines administered in Kent, 97,325 were from last week, up from 87,727 the week before.

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The first doses accounted for 19.7% or 19,167 of vaccinations last week, while the second doses accounted for 80.3% or 78,158 as the NHS moves to fully immunize the elderly and vulnerable.

Over 93% of all over 65s have been vaccinated with the first dose.

People aged 50 and under are urged by the Health Secretary to get vaccinated so the UK can ‘continue on the path back to normalcy’ while people aged 42 are urged to get vaccinated. vaccinate.

Folkestone and Hythe currently have the highest percentage of residents vaccinated with the first dose at 70% while Canterbury and Dartford have the lowest vaccinations at 59%.

Medway was particularly praised for its vaccination program at the Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, with 62% of their residents having received a first dose.

Dr Satvinder Lall, clinical director of the Medway South Primary Care Network (PCN), said Thursday: “It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

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“I say this to the teams every day: we make history and people are going to look back and wonder what they did to Medway and Swale.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of our volunteers and staff and in particular Dr Peter Gilbert, who put all of this and the logistics in place.

“We had the hiccups along the way but we’re in a very good position overall.

“I did the daily pep talk and mentioned that we were at the 50,000 mark and everyone rejoiced – clinicians and volunteers.

“So when we put it in context, the hard work paid off and I don’t think people expected to deliver 50,000 at this point.”

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