'Keep following the rules' plea as Covid cases rise in part of Ipswich

Stay Home Save Lives advert at an Ipswich bus stop. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There has been a rise in Covid cases in a part of Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A "significant" large rise in coronavirus infections in a part of Ipswich has led community leaders to urge people to "keep following the rules in order to keep cases down".

The government regularly releases data for small postcode areas known as MSOAs.

The most recent seven-day rolling data for the Gainsborough, Greenwich and Orwell MSOA showed a total of 37 new cases - up from 11 in the week to March 13.

It comes as Covid cases have been rising across Ipswich as a whole, even if numbers have remained much lower than earlier in the year.

Figures showed there were 70.8 cases per 100,000 people in Ipswich in the seven days up to March 20, compared with 57 per 100,000 in the seven days up until March 13.

Public Health Suffolk has attributed that rise to increased testing, with both businesses and schools alike implementing their own regular testing regimes alongside increased testing in the community.

Martin Cook, Ipswich borough councillor for Gainsborough ward, said of the latest rise: "Clearly it is a significant increase and it is the highest number we have seen for the areas since the end of January and that is not a time we want to go back to. 

"What we need to understand is what is behind this number it may be that a representing an outbreak in a particular workplace or school. 

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"This kind of increase is unwelcome and let's hope it is a blip and not the start of a new trend.

"According to the latest stats the number of people vaccinated in the areas is 3,831 so, as a percentage of the population that is dead average for Ipswich, so I do not think the number of people vaccinated or not is really behind this blip.

"I think it is very important that we all keep following the rule and I think that everybody is following the rules. Not everybody has been vaccinated yet so we all need to keep following the rules in order to keep cases down."

Meanwhile, the number of people being admitted to hospital with coronavirus in Ipswich is continuing to fall.

The East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, said Covid admissions had dropped by almost 20% in the last week - from 51 patients on March 16, to 41 on March 23.

Suffolk MPs said this week that the county is in a "better place" to handle spikes in coronavirus infections - but that people should stull not let their guards down in the fight against the virus.

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said people in Suffolk "continue to recognise this is not over yet".

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