'Mount Covid' graphics show steep drop in Norfolk cases

Mr Malcolm Metcalf, aged 87 from Gorleston, about to have his COVID-19 vaccination at James Paget Ho

Mr Malcolm Metcalf, aged 87 from Gorleston, about to have his COVID-19 vaccination at James Paget Hospital. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The number of coronavirus cases being seen since the lockdown restrictions and vaccine rollout has dropped significantly, the latest data shows.

Nine weeks to the day (Tuesday, February 16) since Margaret Keenan was given the first vaccine in Coventry, tens of thousands have been administered starting with the very oldest in society who are most likely to die if they contract the disease.

The figures show lockdown has worked with the number of cases being detected across all age groups falling after a mountainous data peak at the beginning of the year.

In  most cases levels have returned to almost where they were before the winter spike, with the reduction being greatest among the elderly as the effects of the vaccine begin to show.

They also show a hike in numbers following Christmas Day when Boris Johnson said people could mix with one other household.

Rates among working age people many of whom are no longer going out have been among the most impacted. 

Some of the biggest increases just after lockdown on January 5 were among people in their 30s.

Infection rates among those age groups have come down, but remain slightly higher than at the start of December.

In the 90-plus age group there were 34 cases across Norfolk, rising to 210 on January 13. The figure, as of February 8, was 42.

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Similarly, cases among people in their 80s stood at 59 in the start of December, rising to 279.

The plotted curve shows that figure is now at 57 -  an encouraging sign perhaps that the vaccinations are working.

Across the county's various districts the pattern is broadly similar, most areas peaking in early January around the time of lockdown 3 on January 5.

When the numbers are plotted as case rates per 100,000 the reduction in cases among the older age groups can be seen to drop off more sharply as would be expected if the jab was a success.

Bringing down the number of cases is crucial to any easing of lockdown restrictions with both the order to stay at home and the vaccination programme aiming to have an impact.