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Millions of people in England living in areas with almost no Covid

Wales Online logo Wales Online 02/03/2021 Ian Jones & Robert Rowlands

Official figures have revealed that millions of people in England are living in places with almost no Covid-19 cases.

Analysis by the Daily Telegraph has looked at local areas with fewer than three cases, where Public Health England does not publish information “to protect individuals’ identities”.

The most recent data shows that 971 of 6,791 so-called Middle-layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) fall into that category.

Analysis by the Telegraph found that about 7.3 million people live in these areas, or 13 per cent of the population of England.

These places often have populations of around 8,000, but the numbers in urban areas can be far higher.

Places that fall into these areas include large areas of Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire.

However, it is not just rural areas - and London neighbourhoods such as Notting Hill West, Pimlico, Balham and Hampstead Town also appear on the list, The Times reports.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Tory MP for the Cotswolds, told the Telegraph that slides shown at Downing Street briefings should be "clearer" to make clear that some areas had seen Covid cases fall to nearly nothing.

"I think there should be as much transparency as possible," he told the paper.

The heat maps shown on televised press conferences reveal data from the 315 lower tier local authorities.

Yet rates can vary widely within these areas.

Meanwhile, the latest Press Association analysis of coronavirus cases across England shows 35 (11%) have seen a rise in case rates, 278 (88%) have seen a fall and two are unchanged.

Corby in Northamptonshire continues to have the highest rate in England, with 191 new cases recorded in the seven days to February 25 – the equivalent of 264.5 cases per 100,000 people.

This is down from 330.9 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to February 18.

Leicester has the second highest rate, down from 254.9 to 217.1, with 769 new cases.

Fenland in Cambridgeshire is in third place, up slightly from 197.3 to 214.0, with 218 new cases.

Of the 35 areas to record a week-on-week rise, the top five are:

Worthing (up from 74.2 to 110.3)

South Holland (171.5 to 203.1)

Hyndburn (139.4 to 162.9)

Richmondshire (93.1 to 115.4)

East Lindsey (47.3 to 68.4)

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