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COVID CASES LEVELS: We take to the streets ahead of lockdown easing


The number of coronavirus cases in Liverpool are now at the lowest level in almost three months.

It comes a year to the week since Liverpool recorded its first case of Covid-19, since which more than 47,000 people have been infected – just under 10 per cent of the population – and around 1,300 have sadly died.

Data up until 1st March shows the city's infection rate now stands at 93 cases per 100,000 population, the first time it has been below 100 since 14 December. The number of cases in the seven days up to the start of the month was 463 – a reduction of more than half on the previous week when it stood at 716. The majority of infections – 57 per cent – are in people aged under 40. The area with the highest number of confirmed cases is Warbreck with 72 cases, although around three-quarters of these are as a result of an outbreak at HMP Liverpool, which is being actively managed. Most parts of our city region are seeing a significant decline in coronavirus infection rates – with three boroughs now below 100 cases per 100,000 people. Wirral continues to the region's the lowest rate again this week, but Halton and Sefton are not far behind. Fourteen neighbourhoods are currently listed as having "suppressed" the virus. This means there were just two or fewer confirmed cases.

People from five areas of Liverpool have been hospitalised with Covid at significantly higher rates than the city as a whole, a council report warns. A report on coronavirus for the health and wellbeing board indicates people in the city's poorest wards are more than twice as likely to end up in hospital than those in the wealthiest. It also showed a widening gulf in life expectancy within the city as more people in deprived areas die from the disease. The report said hospitalisations in Liverpool were continuing to come down after a peak in late January. "When compared to the Liverpool average, five Liverpool wards have a significantly higher rate of admission: these wards were Kirkdale, Norris Green, Everton, Fazakerley and Croxteth. People from the most deprived parts of the city were 2.1 times more likely to be admitted to hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis compared to those living in the least deprived areas.

This comes as news that the coronavirus pandemic has caused life expectancy in Liverpool to plunge as the city recorded its highest number of deaths since 1999, a new report warns. The age the average person born in the city can expect to live to is now 76.7, a drop of 2.4 years and a level not seen since 2006. The gap between life expectancy in Liverpool and England as a whole has also widened, with the city now 3.1 years behind the national average Within the city, the picture is even more shocking. People living in the wealthiest parts of Liverpool can now expect to live 12.6 years longer than those in the poorest. World Health Organisation figures from 2019 show a similar gap separating life expectancies in Switzerland and Nepal. A report to the council's heath and wellbeing board said the number of deaths in 2020 was the highest for two decades.

It's positive news that our infection rate is continuing to fall and it is a reflection of the way in which the vast majority are sticking to the rules. If we can just keep going it will put us in the strongest possible position when lockdown measures begin to be ease.

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