Covid-19: What are the stats as restrictions ease further?

Covid-19: What are the stats as restrictions ease further?

5/8/2021 12:46:00 PM

Covid-19: What are the stats as restrictions ease further?

Given the successful rollout of the vaccination programme, we are now in a much healthier place.

Northern Ireland - 34The Republic of Ireland does not publish its infection rate in the same manner, but it can be worked out. For the same seven-day period up until 2 May, it was 64.4.Wales' rate is remarkably low and is undoubtedly tied to the very high vaccination uptake there.

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But let's look closer at Northern Ireland's infection rate.It may be the highest in the UK, but compared to previous rates it's still relatively low.We entered 2021 with an infection rate of about 687 cases per 100,000 population - that's about 20 times higher than it is now.

What we've seen recently is that Northern Ireland's rate has been more or less static, while the rest of the UK has seen slow and steady decreases.So why is Northern Ireland's rate stubbornly staying higher than those in Great Britain?The answer may lie in the fact that the rate in the Republic is now markedly higher than Northern Ireland's - cross-border movement is probably affecting Northern Ireland's rate, especially in the north west.

The Derry and Strabane Borough Council area has one of the highest rates in the UK. In fact, according the UK government's data for the seven days up to 2 May, it had the highest at 99.2.The rest of Northern Ireland's council areas have a rate of 50 or lower.

In short, the high rate in Derry and Strabane is pushing up Northern Ireland's overall rate.Over the past week, almost a quarter of all infections in Northern Ireland have been in the Derry and Strabane area.And, in fact, the majority of the infections in the borough have been in Londonderry city itself.

Just across the border, in east Donegal, you can find the areas of the Republic of Ireland with the worst infection rates in the state.The Republic measures infection rates slightly differently than the UK, but right now, Letterkenny and Milford have infection rates about five times higher than Ireland's national rate.

The data also indicates the higher infection rate in theSo the figures indicate Northern Ireland's rate is being elevated by an infection hotspot in Derry, and most likely exacerbated by cross-border movement into another infection hotspot in east Donegal.

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It is important to remember, however, that an infection rate is only one part of the picture.At earlier points in the pandemic, a higher infection rate usually brought with it more hospitalisations and deaths.However, this is now not necessarily the case - and that's thanks to vaccinations.

VaccinationsNorthern Ireland will soon have a million people vaccinated.The latest number for individuals with a first dose is 963,531.The UK's vaccine rollout has been very successful with two thirds of all adults having had a jab.And, obviously, Northern Ireland is part of that success.

According to Our World In Data - a data research project based at Oxford University - there aren't too many nations in the world with a better rate of vaccination.Interestingly, one of the few places with a better vaccination rate than the UK is the Isle of Man.

The percentages of the adult populations in the UK and Ireland which have had a first dose are as follows: Read more: BBC Health News »

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