Maps released by the UK Health Security Agency shows areas where coronavirus rates have hit unprecedented levels and where Covid booster rates are relatively low
An ominous map highlights the parts of the UK where cases of coronavirus have hit previously unprecedented levels.
An interactive map released by the UK Health Security Agency shows the seven-day case rate per 100,000 people.
What is immediately clear from the graphic is how widely spread coronavirus cases are now since Omicron swept across the British Isles.
The two areas impacted the least – the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway – are clocking figures of more than 300 cases per 100,000 people, represented by a dark blue colour.
At the end of the summer those figures would’ve rendered the areas among the worst impacted in the country.
Now the coronavirus map of the UK is dominated by two types of purple, meaning most areas have a Covid rate of between 400 and 1,600 cases/100,000.
The highly infectious Omicron has taken rates to a new high in London and parts of the Home Counties, where black colouring now denotes a case rate of higher than 1,600/100,000.
Several London boroughs are clocking numbers of 2,000/100,000 or more, meaning two in every 100 people had Covid in the week running up to Christmas.
The worst hit area that week was Lambeth in south London, where the case rate hit 3,014/100,000.
While 3% may seem like a low rate, for one in every 33 people in a given area to have a potentially deadly disease in just one week is significant.
So to is the effect such a high case rate and periods of self-isolation could have on the NHS and people’s mental health.
What impact people travelling home to see their loved ones over Christmas will have on the infection rate will be seen when the UK Health Security Agency updates its statistics later this week.
The particularly high case rates logged just before Christmas are likely fuelled, in part, but an increase in testing.
Whether wary of taking Covid into their loved ones’ homes over the festive period, or concerned about the spread of Omicron, people were taking tests at a high rate in the week before Christmas.
On December 22 1,648,679 test results were logged by the Government – the highest number since March.
The Agency has also released an interactive map showing rates of first, second and third vaccinations in different areas.
Lambeth has one of the lowest booster rates in the country, with just 36% of people having had the third jab and only 65% having had the first.
One trend the map shows is low vaccination rates across London, where most boroughs have a booster rate of around 35%.
Other large cities including Birmingham (35.9%) and Manchester (32.9%) are suffering from similar problems.
This compares poorly to areas in the South and North West, where rates are comfortably exceeding 60%.
Dorset (66.6%) and Shropshire (65.9%) are two booster jab standouts.