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Map reveals the worst-hit Covid hotspots in England as cases surge

Map reveals the worst-hit Covid hotspots in England as cases surge
Three boroughs in and around east London are seeing Covid cases surge (Picture: PA/ /

Three boroughs in and around London have become Covid hot-spots, with the worst infection rates in the country, government data has revealed.

Barking and Dagenham, in east London, currently has the nation’s highest infection rate, with 1,708 virus cases per 100,000 people.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that a staggering one in 16 people have the virus in the area, compared to around one in 50 people across England, and one in 30 in London as a whole.

The second worst-hit area in the country is the neighbouring borough of Redbridge, with 1,571 cases per 100,000 people, while Thurrock, in Essex, now ranks third with 1,566.5 infections per 100,000.

The data comes as health chiefs and MPs in the east of London and Essex warned that hospital services risk being overwhelmed due to the recent surge in Covid admissions.

Newham, Havering, Tower Hamlets, Castle Point, Epping Forest, Harlow, Basildon and Brentwood have all recorded rates of more than 1,200 per 100,000 in the past seven days.

Map of Covid areas
Barking and Dagenham is now the worst hit area (Picture:
A paramedic replaces oxygen cannisters in an ambulance outside the Royal London hospital in London on January 10, 2021 as surging cases of the novel coronavirus are placing health services under increasing pressure. - Medical chiefs in England raced to boost treatment capacity on January 10 as a surge in coronavirus cases risked overwhelming hospitals, even as the government stepped up its mass inoculation campaign. A leaked briefing suggested that London's hospitals were on the brink of running out of beds, endangering the lives of patients needing critical care. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Medics are concerned hospitals are becoming overwhelmed (Picture: Getty Images)

Government data also shows that the numbers of cases are increasing rapidly, with Barking and Dagenham only having 300 cases per 100,000 just four weeks prior.

An intensive care nurse told the Sunday Times: ‘You go home each night thinking, “Wow, that was a terrible, terrible day — tomorrow can’t possibly be that bad”. And then it is. And it’s actually worse than the day before.”

Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said the NHS was in a ‘very, very serious situation’, and noted that it was the worst he had seen in his career ‘by a long stretch’.

 Dr Simon Tavabie, who works at a main east London hospital, said he felt overwhelmed by the ‘sheer volume [of people] who are dying of this illness’. He added that some patients were dying in distressing circumstances, ‘breathless, gasping, and crying out’.

Paramedics transfer a patient from an ambulance into Southend University hospital in Essex, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a new national lockdown for England which means people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place until mid-February. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 5, 2021. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
One in 50 people across England have the virus (Picture: PA)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Tom Kelbrick from North East Ambulance Service draws up the AstraZeneca/Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination hub in the Centre For Life in Newcastle on January 11, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The location is one of several mass vaccination centres in England to open to the public this week. The UK aims to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Outbreaks are being driven by a combination of factors (Picture: Getty Images)

Public health officials say outbreaks are likely being driven by a combination of factors, such as high-density housing and deprivation. Residents in the boroughs may also be working jobs that can’t be done from home, therefore increasing their risk of catching the virus.

Barking and Dagenham is also close to Kent, where it is believed the mutated variant of the virus evolved. The new variant of the virus is up to 70% more infectious than other strains.

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