Huge testing and vaccine operation appear to have brought surge under control in Blackburn with Darwen
Coronavirus case numbers in the UK borough hardest hit by the new Delta variant appear to have “peaked” and are now falling, the director of public health there has said.
Infection rates in Blackburn with Darwen look to have topped out on 7 June and have been in decline in the 10 days since, Dominic Harrison tweeted.
“Good news,” he wrote. “Increasingly strong signal that the BwD case rate may have peaked on 7 June (at 667) and that the fall in daily case numbers will be sustained for at least seven days.”
It was, he added, the “first sustained fall since initial Delta variant case on 7 April”.
The drop – which comes after a huge testing and vaccination operation were mobilised – has hugely welcome implications for the rest of the country: it appears to show that, despite being 60 per more transmissible than early iterations, the new variant can be managed without resorting to full lockdown.
Crucially, too, fears that rising case numbers would result in increased hospital admissions and deaths appear not to have played out, offering further evidence that vaccines may have broken the link between case numbers and mortality rates.
In a joint statement, with council leader Mohammed Khan and adult services director Sayyed Osman, Professor Harrison said: “The support we have had in surge testing and extra vaccinations for over-18s over the last four weeks is having an impact…
“We need to make the most of this opportunity. We urge all our residents to pull together and do everything they can to help get control of our virus rates now. It’s also vital that everyone takes up the offer of the vaccine.”
The added: “If we all do our bit, within another four weeks the picture in Blackburn with Darwen could look very different.”
Despite the signs that the targeted measures – which have also been implemented across Greater Manchester and Lancashire – are working, Covid-19 cases for the whole of the UK continue to rise, with 9,055 new infections reported on Wednesday, the highest since early February.