Signs Covid-19 spike is starting to ease: Sunday January 10

The worst-affected place in the district remains Denmead and Southwick where there has been 81 new cases, down 25 week on week, a drop of 23.6 per cent, with a rolling number of 789.8, down from 838.5. For the first time in several days it is marked purple on the official map, instead of the worst rating of black.

Denmead and Southwick

New cases of the contagious new strain are slowing in the hotspot of Oliver’s Battery and Hursley, according to Government figures released this afternoon.

In the seven days to January 5, the latest available, 34 cases were reported, down 8 on the previous seven days, a decrease of 19 per cent. The rolling number per 100,000 people is down to 415.9, now below the UK average for the first time this year.

Oliver’s Battery and Hursley

Another area that had seen sharp rises was South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever. In the seven days to January 5, there have been 31 cases, up five or 19.2 per cent, but for a rolling rate of 527.4, about the UK average and down from 646.5 on January 3.

South Wonston, Sutton Scotney and Micheldever

The Winchester ‘district’ covers more than just the ‘city’ and covers Hampshire from Micheldever to Denmead, and Crawley to Ropley. The latest weekly figure is 549, up 32 or 6.2 per cent, for a rolling 439.7, steadily dropping.

Although it is good news in Winchester, nationally experts are still very worried as hospitals are seeing more admissions than in the spring.

An expert warned that people must take lockdown seriously as “we are now in the eye of a storm”.

Speaking to the BBC, Prof Horby, chairman of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said there may be “early signs that something is beginning to bite” in terms of the restrictions – but if they did not then stricter measures would be needed.

Another 12 people are reported to have died of Covid-19 in the Hampshire County Council area today. It brings to 1,250 the death toll since the start of the pandemic.

In the last two days five deaths have been reported at Hampshire Hospitals Trust, which includes the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, meaning a total of 265 people have died since the start of the pandemic.

In the Winchester City Council district five people are reported to have died in the last 48 hours to bring fatalities to 116, or 92.9 per 100,000 people. In Southampton the figure is 171, up five, or 67.7 per 100,000. In Portsmouth the figure is 172, up seven, for 80.0 per 100,000.

The plateau in cases in Winchester district continued for a fourth day. The number of cases reported in the previous seven days is lower than in the previous week. Today there were 55 cases, taking to 517 the number in the last seven days. The previous seven days had seen 539 cases.

The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is now 3,437, an infection rate of 2,752 per 100,000, below the UK average of 4,733. In Southampton there have been 8,661 cases, or 3,429 per 100. The most heavily affected is Portsmouth with 9,287 or 4,321 per 100,000, near the UK average.

Nationally today 563 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported, down from the record of 1,325 on Friday.

In the area covered by Hampshire County Council there were 898 positive test results in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 40,747. The seven-day numbers to January 5 are 7,953, up 2,067 or 35.1 per cent, for a rolling 575.2.

A further 33 Covid-19 deaths have been reported by the NHS in Hampshire in the last 48 hours. There have been double digit increases for the last four days. Portsmouth has been badly affected with 81 deaths reported already in 2021.

The Hampshire Hospitals Trust death toll is now 265, up five in two days. At Southampton Hospital the figure is 273, up nine. Portsmouth Hospitals Trust recorded a further 19 to take its total to 492. Southern Health Trust is now 26 deaths, no change, with the figure for the Solent NHS Trust staying at four.

Across the county’s NHS, the five trusts mentioned above, some 1,061 people have died since March, within 28 days of a positive test.

In Winchester City Council area the figure for deaths is 116, up five in two days. In Portsmouth it is 172, up seven, and 171 in Southampton, up five.

The Office for National Statistics reports 1,250 have died in the Hampshire County Council area, with an increase of 38 in 48 hours.

The most recent figures from the NHS, released on Monday, show there are currently 57 Covid patients at the RHCH compared to 44 last week and 105 at Basingstoke hospital compared to 78 previously.

Experts estimate the new strain of Covid is 50 per cent more transmissable, explaining the sharp increase in cases in recent weeks.