THERE have been no Covid cases in over-70s for more than a week in 52 areas of England.
One in six local authorities have had no cases in that age group recently – including in Rother, East Sussex, which has the fifth highest overall death rate in the country.
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In 52 areas of England, there hasn’t been a single Covid case among the over-70s for more than a week
The news comes amid the dazzling success of the UK’s vaccination roll-out. It was yesterday reported that five million Brits have had both of their jabs.
It comes as:
Meanwhile, deaths are plunging. A further 10 casualties were recorded to have lost their lives yesterday – the lowest figure in six months.
By comparison, more than 1,000 people died of Covid on average each day in January, making it the deadliest month of the pandemic so far for Britain.
Lockdown has also forced down cases.
When the third national shutdown began in early January, Rother was in crisis.
Darrell Gale, the director of public health for East Sussex, told The Times: “Covid spread like wildfire among the elderly.
“The UK variant hit us very hard, very early – after Kent we were next.”
Almost all of Rother’s 331 deaths came in the second wave.
Just 13 weeks later, there hasn’t been a single new Covid case in a person aged over 70 in the past seven days.
And while there’s usually a strict north-south divide – with the most recent epicentres for the Kent variant emerging in London and the south-east before travelling north – the new ‘notspots’ are spread across the country.
Burnley, Boston, Southwark and Stafford have all recorded zero cases in over-70s in recent days.
East Sussex has forced down cases in the elderly – after it was badly hit by the super-infectious Kent variantCredit: Alamy
Meanwhile, millions of Brits – among them Boris Johnson – have received at least one jabCredit: PA
And it was yesterday announced that five million people in the UK have already had both dosesCredit: Pacemaker
Epping Forest in Essex, which in early January had the second-highest rate of infection among over-70s with nearly 1,200 cases per 100,000 people, has not had a case in that age group since March 18.
People in the age group are far more likely to be hospitalised and die of Covid, accounting for more than 85 per cent of all coronavirus deaths last year.
But the vaccination drive is turning the tide, and the Office for National Statistics says almost 100 per cent of England’s over-70s have now received at least one dose of the jab.
Gloucester, which rolled out the vaccine speedily, hasn’t seen a Covid case among its over-60s since March 16.
And in Kent, where the new super-infectious mutation first took hold, there have been no cases in over-70s for more than a week.
Geoff Lymer, the chairman of Kent county council’s public health committee, told the publication: “I know the young get blamed a lot for breaching regulations but in most of Kent they’ve been superb.
“They have been very responsible.
“It’s lovely to see up-and-coming generations behave in the same responsible manner as those who we’re trying to protect.”
Meanwhile, most regions in England have recently gone at least a day without a single Covid death – for the first time in six months.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted yesterday: “Over five million people have now had their second vaccine dose.
“The vaccine is safe and effective, so when it’s your turn, come forward and get the jab.”
Boris Johnson added we have “reached another milestone in our vaccination programme”.
He urged everyone to take up their second jab as soon as it is offered.
Yesterday, another ten deaths were recorded – the lowest daily toll in six months