by Richard Williams | August 6, 2021
An increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 appears to be ending as the number of reported cases in Tunbridge Wells plummeted. This despite the relaxation of restrictions and the fact that the number of tests remains high.
In the latest data released by Public Health England, in the seven days to July 27 – more than a week after the government’s final lockdown rules were lifted – cases have almost halved.
On July 18, the day before Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted the mandatory wearing of masks and the remaining social distancing rules, there were 474 positive cases of the coronavirus in Tunbridge Wells.
This was an increase of more than 200 from the previous week, raising fears of a spike in the virus caused by the Delta variant – the strain first identified in India.
As stated in the Times last week, despite this increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths remained low.
Now new figures show incidents of the virus are in fact on the decline, with rates dropping to 264 cases in seven days – down from more than 200 in just one week.
The infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the district now stands at 222.4 – the average rate in England is 305.1.
All of England’s 315 local areas have seen virus rates drop week-over-week.
Tonbridge & Malling saw its rates drop from 756 to just 425, with its rate per 100,000 now at 321.6.
Wealden’s rates fell from 610 to 316, with its rate per 100,000 population now standing at 195.7.
Hospital admissions have increased over the past week, with Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust – which runs the two hospitals in Pembury and Maidstone – admitting around 60 people in the seven days to July 25, up from around 20 the week before, although that figure was far lower than the 230 hospital admissions the Trust knew when the virus peaked last January.
The Trust also recorded the only two deaths from the virus in July, the first deaths since March.
Despite falling Covid-19 rates, the number of people undergoing PCR testing has also remained at a constant level, despite the switch to home testing kits.
About 4,779 NHS lab tests are carried out each week at Tunbridge Wells, which is lower than the peak of 7,125 seen last December, but higher than levels seen in April, May and June, when only around 3,000 people per week were tested. .