Coronavirus cases surge in Liverpool and West Midlands as mutant Covid strain takes hold across the UK

CORONAVIRUS cases have surged in Liverpool and West Midlands as the mutant virus strain has taken hold across the UK.

The latest data from Public Health England shows how Liverpool and the West Midlands have now overtaken the South East and East of England.

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Infection rates in Knowsley, Merseyside have more than doubled in a week.

In Liverpool, cases more than doubled from from 387.7 per 100,000 in the seven days to December 30 to 960.2 per 100,000 in the seven days to January 6.

The West Midlands has seen cases rise from from 403.9 to 615.9 in the same time frame.

Steve Rotheram, mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: "These are sobering figures and it's clear that the virus is spreading very rapidly across the country, and worryingly so for the North West and in particular the Liverpool City Region.

"I'd urge everyone to be extra careful and keep doing everything to keep yourself and loved ones safe to stop our NHS being overwhelmed."

The case rase in Knowsley has increased from 455.4 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to December 30 to 1,263.4 per 100,000 in the seven days to January 6.

It is the largest week-on-week rise for any local authority area in England.

Cllr Graham Morgan, leader of Knowsley Council, said: "The rate at which our figures are continuing to increase is a major concern.

"Clearly there are some in our community who are not taking this situation seriously.

"We have no option but to go back to basics and follow the rules as we all did in the lockdown in the first half of last year."

Halton in Cheshire, also part of the Liverpool City Region, saw the second biggest jump, from 533.2 to 1,220.2.

And Liverpool itself recorded the third largest increase, from 387.5 to 958.6.

It comes as Covid-19cases today jumped by 46,169 as deaths rose by 529 in the last 24 hours.

There have now been 3,118,518 Brits infected with the disease since the pandemic began, and the total death toll has reached a staggering 81,960.

Today's rise in cases is lower than it was last Monday, when 58,784 cases were recorded along with 407 deaths.

This is the equivalent to a 5.5 per cent increase in positive cases in the last seven days.

The rise in infections today is also lower than yesterday, when 54,940 people tested positive for the virus.

And the death toll is similarly lower today, in comparison to yesterday's 563 figure.

Figures on a Monday tend to be lower than the rest of the week due to a lag in reporting over the weekend.

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