Covid mapped: UK’s worst hotspots emerge as top medic warns pandemic will be ‘unpredictable’

Latest Department of Health figures show there have been 558,732 confirmed cases in seven days, with nine of the UK’s 10 worst hotspots in Scotland

New Covid hotspots are emerging, but cases have dropped in the past week

Nearly 560,000 people have tested positive for Covid in the past week in the UK, with new hotspots emerging.

Latest Department of Health figures show there have been 558,732 confirmed cases in seven days – but this is a decrease of almost 45,000 on the previous week’s figure.

The number of people in hospital with the virus has risen, with more than 15,600 admissions in the past week, although NHS bosses say Covid was not the primary cause in more than half of cases.

Of the UK’s 10 worst hotspots, nine are in Scotland, with North Devon recording the highest infection rate in England.

Scotland is recording a rate of 1,392.7 cases per 100,000 people – more than three times higher than other regions across the UK.

Na h-Eileanan Siar is the UK’s worst hit hotspot by some distance, with 3,218.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Scroll down to see the UK’s worst hotspots and how high cases are in each region

The South West now has the highest rates in England


The 10 places in the UK with the highest Covid rates

  • Na h-Eileanan Siar – 3,218.9 cases per 100,000 people
  • South Ayrshire – 1,758.5 ​​cases per 100,000 people
  • East Ayrshire – 1,739.3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Shetland Islands – 1,670.3 cases per 100,000 people
  • Falkirk – 1,651.7 cases per 100,000 people
  • Highland – 1,616.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • North Devon – 1,593.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Renfrewshire – 1,565.9 cases per 100,000 people
  • Inverclyde – 1,528.7 cases per 100,000 people
  • Clackmannanshire – 1,528.6 cases per 100,000 people

It comes as most people in England will have to pay for Covid tests from tomorrow.

The Government’s “living with Covid” plan means free testing will only continue for certain groups, with others who think they have coronavirus urged to stay at home.

Some free testing will continue during April in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and until the summer in Wales.

Ministers in England argue that even though infection levels have been rising, vaccines and antivirals are working to protect the vast majority of people.

A month ago rates were lower across much of the UK


The 10 places in England with the worst infection rates

  • North Devon – 1,593.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • North Somerset – 1,463.1 cases per 100,000 people
  • Plymouth – 1,433.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • West Devon – 1,428.6 cases per 100,000 people
  • Cornwall and Isles of Scilly – 1,415.9 cases per 100,000 people
  • Somerset West and Taunton – 1,414.9 cases per 100,000 people
  • Torridge – 1,382.4 cases per 100,000 people
  • Vale of White Horse – 1,379.2 cases per 100,000 people
  • Fareham – 1,371 cases per 100,000 people
  • South Hams – 1,352.2 cases per 100,000 people

Latest Covid rates in each region

  • Yorkshire and The Humber – 745.9
  • West Midlands – 763.3
  • South West – 1,268.1
  • South East – 1,038.1
  • Northwest – 768.5
  • North East – 790.3
  • London – 672.9
  • East of England – 976.5
  • East Midlands – 827.3
  • Wales – 464.9
  • Scotland – 1,392.7
  • Northern Ireland – 773.6

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) chief executive Dr Dame Jenny Harries said the UK must be prepared for the pandemic to “remain unpredictable”.

She said: “The pandemic takes its own course and it will remain unpredictable to a large extent for the next say 18 months to two years, I think is general consensus, and we will have to be continuously alert to monitor those rates and to respond appropriately to any new variants.

“But as with other respiratory viruses such as flu… at some point we have to come to terms with that.”

Average daily hospital admissions in England of people with Covid-19 currently stand at 2,050: the highest since February 5, 2021.

Dr Jenny Harries said that the pandemic will remain “unpredictable”


Press Association Images)

But the number of people in mechanical ventilator beds is still very low: 318 as of Wednesday, which is some way below the level reached at the start of this year (797) and far below the total at the start of 2021 (3,736).

The proportion of hospital patients with Covid in England who are being treated primarily for something else is broadly unchanged at just over half (56%).

Meanwhile, staff absences at hospital trusts in England due to Covid-19 – either through sickness or self-isolation – averaged 27,571 a day last week, up 19% on the previous week and the highest level since the end of January.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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