Seven million people in UK living in areas where Covid cases ‘close to zero’

Seven million people in UK living in areas where Covid cases ‘close to zero’

MORE than seven million Brits are living in areas where cases of Covid-19 are now “close to zero”, it’s been reported.
Hundreds of neighbourhoods recorded a negligible number of new cases last week amid the latest lockdown measures.
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3The number of new cases in some parts of the country is now reportedly ‘close to zero’Credit: Alamy Live NewsLatest figures show that 971 of 6,791 local areas across the country recorded fewer than three cases in the week running up to Feb 23.
An estimated 7.3 million people live in those places which is around 13 per cent of the population, reports the Telegraph.
Some MPs now suggest the slides shown at Downing Street press conferences are failing to show the falling stats seen in some areas.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Tory MP for theCotswolds, suggested they should be made “clearer” to show some areas had seen cases fall to near-zero.
“I think there should be as much transparency as possible,” he told the Telegraph.
Those areas reporting between zero and two cases are marked by NHS England as “suppressed”.
That means the true number of positive tests is withheld “to prevent the small number of infected people from being publicly shamed.”
Some suggest slides shown at Downing Street press conferences fail to show the falling stats 
Around a third of rural MSOAs (or Middle Layer Super Output Areas, a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics) are now deemed “suppressed”.
Those areas reportedly include large swathes of Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire.
And around one in 10 urban areas also reported between zero and two cases last week, according to the Telegraph.
In London, so -called “suppressed” neighbourhoods are said to include Notting Hill West, Balham and Hampstead Town.
Elsewhere, Trafford and Oldham, the Wirral and St Helens, also apparently saw cases drop to near-zero.
Earlier today, it was revealed nationwide deaths have risen by just 104 – the lowest toll since October.
Cases have increased by 5,455, bringing the overall total to 4,182,009.
It brings the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 122,953.
Today’s rise in fatalities is 42 per cent lower than the 178 deaths recorded on February 22.
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And it is significantly below the 230 deaths reported the week before on February 15.
It marks the lowest rise in deaths since October 26, when 102 deaths were recorded.
Cases are also nearly half of last Monday’s figure of 10,641, in a sign that lockdown measures are continuing to slow the spread.
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