Some parts of Kent have the highest COVID-19 rates in England while others are well below average

All of Kent has been placed in Tier 3 under the new system, although MPs have recently tried to split it as some areas have low COVID-19 rates

Kent, England’s sixth most populous county, has an area with the highest COVID-19 case rate in England, while other parts of the county have relatively low rates

Seven Conservative MPs from across Kent wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Wednesday to get him to spread the new three-tier system by district or county rather than county as a whole

They wrote, “As some districts are starting to have some of the highest infection rates in the country, we strongly believe that a local lockdown should be carried out at the district or district level”

Scientists disagree with MPs, however, and the latest hospital data from Kent’s main hospital trusts reported Jan. November 367 COVID patients in beds in the seven main hospitals in the district – up from 40 the month before

The government decided on Thursday that the entire county would start working on the 2nd December will be included in Tier 3

Swale in north Kent overtook Hull on Monday, hitting 540 infections per 100000 people in the week up to and including November the highest rate in England – an increase of 337 cases per 100000 since 1 November

Just six weeks ago, Swale had one of the lowest 100 infection rates in England, but cases have gradually risen since then

Before making the decision, Roger Truelove, chairman of Swale City Council, told Sky News he thought Kent was getting into Tier 3 because 85% of infections are in the community, which he believes is due to some People social distancing ignore rules that lead to spikes

Nearby Thanet, home of Margate, recorded a rate of 492 cases per 100000 people in the same period also saw a dramatic increase This makes it the third worst affected place in England

Infection rates in Medway and Gravesham in Kent are also more than three times what they were three weeks ago This makes them one of the eight authorities in Kent that are now among the 100 highest rates in the UK

Five districts in the west and south of the county are at the other end of the scale, still below the UK average of 243 cases per 100000 inhabitants in the week up to the 20th November

Tunbridge Wells is at a rate of 120 per 100000 is the lowest – although this has been the case since 1 November almost doubled Ashford, Sevenoaks, Folkestone and Hythe as well as Tonbridge and Malling are also below 200

London has been ranked Tier 2 but has a higher rate than Tunbridge Wells with 182 cases per 100000 people in the week up to and including November

Adam Wickings, Winter Director of NHS Kent and Medway CCG, told a council meeting Tuesday that the area was “very bad” and affected earlier than other parts of south east England

“I’ve been with the NHS since 1986 This winter is going to be the toughest and is already proving to be the right one

“Quite often we get to the point when we don’t seem to have any ICU beds at all”

Damian Green, Ashford MP said he signed the letter because he was concerned that if people in areas with lower rates were to be upgraded because of a different part of Kent, they would not follow the rules has a high rate

He told Sky News, “People in the low-incident areas will think this is unfair and unnecessary, so it becomes less safe because they think it doesn’t apply to me”

“It is very likely that we will be in the stage we are in for months, maybe by the end of March

“The last thing we need is for self-discipline to decrease and therefore for incidents to increase

“Most people behave quite intelligently most of the time, but I don’t accept the argument that the virus doesn’t recognize county boundaries – it doesn’t recognize county and state borders either

“Nobody wants a national lockdown, so it seems fairer if you set restrictions in as small a unit as possible”

The North Thanet MP, Sir Roger Gale, signed the letter Mr Green said he would still have done this if his area was as high as Thanet

Gordon Henderson, MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, where Swale is, had no comment for Sky News when asked why he didn’t sign the letter

Those areas of Kent that have seen the number of cases soar are also the most deprived areas of the county

One third of the areas in Thanet and Swale are among the 10% most deprived areas in England according to the latest figures in the Index of Multiple Deprivation

Medway, which does not fall under the Kent County Council area but is part of the same NHS trust, also has more than a quarter of its areas in this top 10% The infection rate in the region has increased by more than 300 cases per 100 since the beginning of the month000 risen It is now among the 25 hardest hit places in the country

Despite the MPs’ request, SAGE, the government’s scientific advisory body, advised on Nov. November, “Applying measures to larger areas” reduces the meaning of “edge effects” [people moving between areas] and makes measures more effective “

Dr Julian Tang, honorary professor of respiratory science at the University of Leicester, told Sky News: “The larger the population you restricted, the less the virus spreads

“Local executives want to help the economy by reducing the area, but then just spread it

“If you have a level 3 in the middle of a level 1 and 2, people don’t stay around you

“It’s like ‘eating out to help’, you pay the penalty for the freedoms you choose

“If you have a larger area in the same tier that is like a ring vaccination defense, you want to have a protective ring around this hotspot


“We know this will work, but it will be very unpopular The short term loss can be a longer term gain “

:: Health Secretary Matt Hancock will make a statement on Levels in England outside the House of Commons at 11 a.m. – Follow live on Sky News, App and online

© 2020 Sky UK

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