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Weekly New Forest Covid update – eight deaths as district approaches nearly 6,000 cases over the past year

The vaccine roll-out is giving hope of a return to normal life, says NFDC leader Cllr Barry Rickman (picture: PA)
The vaccine roll-out is giving hope of a return to normal life, says NFDC leader Cllr Barry Rickman (picture: PA)

THE leader of New Forest District Council spoke of “fresh hope” from the vaccine rollout as he remembered those who have died in the pandemic which brought the first case to Hampshire one year ago.

There have been nearly 6,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the district since March last year and 310 deaths, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – including eight in the latest weekly update.

Cllr Barry Rickman said: “My sincere thoughts go out to anyone who has lost someone to this terrible disease or had their lives impacted in any way by its effects.

“This calendar reminder marks 12 months of our community working together like never before to ensure those that need help receive it, and that the most vulnerable are looked after – be that by offering to get shopping, checking in on loved ones, or giving transport help to medical appointments.

“They say people come together in a crisis and whilst this is certainly true, I believe that your strong community spirit was already well established – and this enduring care for each other and the place we all call home has gone a long way in making sure we rise to this unwelcome challenge.

“As we see fresh hope of returning to a normal way of life, with the vaccine rollout, the plan out of lockdown, and the sun starting to shine again, I am optimistic that this community spirit is what will ensure our district once again thrives.”

He concluded: “Stay safe, and thank you for all you continue to do to keep the New Forest safe.

In the latest seven-day update published by the ONS yesterday (Tuesday), figures for the New Forest showed six fatalities were in hospital and the other two in a care home and hospice.

There were nine deaths reported in the district last week and 22 the week before that.

In the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch, there were 31 fatalities recorded over the same seven days, compared with 49 the previous week.

The provisional figures from the ONS related to instances where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate up to 19th February but were registered up to 27th February. Previously reported numbers can change after being updated by the ONS.

According to separate government figures, the number of new weekly cases of Covid-19 in the New Forest on Tuesday was 93 – bringing the total to 5,910. The previous week was 130.

It gave an infection rate of 51.6 per 100,000 people – nearly half the UK rate of 100.4. The highest rate was Birmingham with 141.7.

In the BCP conurbation the number of new weekly cases was 299 – down again from last week’s level of 539. The rate per 100,000 people was 75.6.

The infection figures are for the numbers of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 test result in the preceding seven days.

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