How is Sunderland's coronavirus case count doing as city enters tenth week of lockdown?
Sunderland has seen a sharp fall in the rate of new coronavirus cases during the latest national lockdown.
The third lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday, January 4, and officially came into effect two days later.
Today, Wednesday, March 10, marks nine weeks since the new regulations were formally adopted, so how is the city faring as we enter the tenth week of restrictions?
As in the rest of the country, the number of coronavirus cases in Sunderland had risen sharply in the month or so before the third lockdown officially started.
There were just 55 new cases confirmed in the city on December 1, a number which had gone up almost six-fold by December 30, when the case count hit 298.
On the day the new lockdown formally began, January 6, that had come down but the numbers remained worryingly high. There were still 168 new cases in the city and the case count would remain stubbornly high for the rest of the month. It would peak at 214 on January 11 and not dip continuously below three figures until more than a week into February.
In comparison, today has seen just 38 new cases confirmed in the city, a fall of 130 – or nearly 80 per cent – since the official start of lockdown.
The weekly case rate in the city has also fallen sharply during since the new restrictions were first applied.
The latest figures, for the seven days up to March 5 (the last five days are excluded in case of inaccuracies) show there were 234 new cases in total in Sunderland, an average of 84.3 new infections per 100,000 people.
By contrast, in the seven days to January 1 (the most recent figures available at the start of the third lockdown), there were 1,529 new cases, the equivalent of 550.6 per 100,000 head of population.
The coronavirus death rate in Sunderland’s hospital trust has also fallen sharply during lockdown.
There were eight virus-related fatalities confirmed in the city on the day the third lockdown started. Today there were just two virus deaths in the trust.
There were 223 patients hospitalised with the virus on January 6, down to 83 in the latest figures.