Could the surge in Covid-19 cases in Blackburn have peaked?

Credit: ITV News

The surge in Covid-19 cases in Blackburn with Darwen looks to have peaked, with case rates stabilising for the first time in over a month, new figures suggest.

A total of 897 coronavirus cases were recorded in the local authority in the seven days to June 10 - the equivalent of 599.2 cases per 100,000 people.

Although this is up week-on-week from 548.4, it is below the figure of 666.7 recorded for the seven days to June 7, which was the highest for the area since the middle of January.

Since June 7, the seven-day rate of new cases has dropped on each successive day.

The figures have been calculated by the PA news agency from Public Health England data.

Credit: ITV News

Blackburn with Darwen has been battling a sharp rise in cases since early May, driven by the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 that originated in India.

By the end of last month it had the highest rate in the UK, overtaking neighbouring Bolton, which had experienced a similar jump in cases.

Local health teams introduced a campaign of surge testing for the virus, along with "surge vaccinations" to boost take-up among everyone who is eligible for the vaccine.

These additional measures now look to be having an impact - as happened in Bolton, which is currently recording 308.8 cases per 100,000 people, down from a peak of 452.8 in mid-May.

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Local council chiefs said on Monday they believed the measures may only be available to Blackburn for a few more weeks, with resources likely to be shifted to help tackle the increase in cases happening in other parts of the country.

In a joint statement from leader Mohammed Khan, strategic director of adults & health Sayyed Osman, and director of public health Professor Dominic Harrison, the council urged residents to "make the most of this opportunity" and "to pull together and do everything they can to help get control of our virus rates now."

Blackburn with Darwen continues to record the highest rate of cases in the UK (599.2 cases per 100,000 people), followed by Ribble Valley (458.2), Hyndburn (410.9), Rossendale (373.5) and Burnley (366.6).