Rise in Ipswich coronavirus cases 'a wake up call'

Coronavirus adverts have been placed in bus stops around Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Coronavirus cases in Ipswich have risen slightly in recent weeks. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A small rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Ipswich has been described as "a wake up call" by the town's MP.

Tom Hunt was speaking after new Government figures showed slight increases in the town's infection rate which have put it above the national average for new cases over the past week.

The latest data showed that in the seven days to February 25 the infection rate in Ipswich was 97.1 cases per 100,000. This rose from 90.6 cases per 100,000 in the previous seven days. 

The national average for England was 96.9 cases per 100,000 for the same time frame.

"The job is not done," said Mr Hunt. "There is still work to do."

Mr Hunt said that he would be continuing to monitor the figures over the coming weeks. 

"I am not sure I have seen enough to say we are moving in the wrong direction," said Mr Hunt. "But I am keen to see the case rates continue to decrease.

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"Clearly this is a bit of a wake up call, we should not assume it is going to keep going down."

Tom Hunt MP is concerned by a rise in Ipswich Covid-19 cases 

Tom Hunt MP is concerned by a rise in Ipswich Covid-19 cases - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Hunt said it was important that residents in the town continued to follow restrictions to stop the virus from spreading. 

"We need to play our part, " said Mr Hunt. 

Case rates across Suffolk are otherwise falling, with all weekly infection rates remaining well below the national average. 

In north Essex the rates are also falling — but not as fast, with Tendring and Colchester just behind the national rate at 95.5 and 93.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Stuart Keeble, director of Public Health at Suffolk County Council, said: “The slight rise in cases in Ipswich shows how little it takes for Covid-19 to spread. 

“We must all take personal responsibility to reduce any opportunities for the virus to spread.

"We can do this by minimising contact with others, questioning whether our journey is really necessary, and when we are out and about making sure we continue to keep at least 2m apart from people we don’t live with, wearing a face covering and washing our hands regularly.

"If you cannot work from home, getting regularly tested for Covid-19 is another way you can help to identify the virus early and stop the spread. It takes just 15 minutes to get a test and you get the results within the hour.

“The Prime Minister’s roadmap shows us the way out of lockdown, but this can only be achieved if we all play our part now.”