Stoke-on-Trent’s top health chief says the new ‘mutant Covid’ is not sweeping across the city as infection rates haven’t seen an ‘explosive growth’.
The new strain of coronavirus has been moving across the South East of England leading to a new Tier 4 being imposed on families around London.
The rules – which echo those of the national lockdown in November – mean families have been barred from leaving their local area.
But shocking scenes from London Euston and St Pancras showed families boarding the so-called ‘Covid express’ back North.
This led to fears the new strain of coronavirus could now have arrived in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
But Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the director of social care, health intergration and wellbeing at Stoke-on-Trent City Council says the seven day infection rate has now dropped from the last week.
This could mean the super strain of coronavirus has not yet hit the city’s population.
Dr Edmondson-Jones said: “The seven-day cases are at 820 and the seven-day rate at 319.8 cases per 100,000 people.
“(That is a) bit down on the week before but the last five days suggest a rise over the next few days.
“However we are not seeing the explosive growth in cases that would suggest the new variant was present in large numbers.”
There have been another 108 positive coronavirus tests confirmed in the past 24 hours in Stoke-on-Trent. This means there have now been 11,770 positive cases in the city.