Covid-19 case rates for three of the four UK nations have dropped below the symbolic level of 100 cases per 100,000 people, suggesting lockdown restrictions across the country are continuing to drive down the overall spread of the virus.
Wales currently has the lowest rate among the four nations, with 65.7 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to February 24.
This is the lowest rate for Wales since the seven days to September 22, 2020.
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Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are now just below 100 cases per 100,000 people.
Scotland currently has a seven-day rate of 95.7 cases per 100,000, the lowest since October 4, while Northern Ireland is at 97.0, the lowest since September 28.
England remains just above 100, at 102.8 cases per 100,000 – the lowest rate since October 1.
The figures have been calculated by the PA news agency from the latest health agency data.
The steep drop in rates since the start of the year suggests the various lockdowns in place across the UK have played a key role in reducing the number of new reported cases of coronavirus.
However, there are some local areas that are continuing to record a week-on-week rise in rates.
For the seven days to February 24, 41 of the 315 local authority areas in England saw an increase in rates, though in most cases the rise was very small.
The biggest jump was in Fenland in Cambridgeshire, where rates increased from 178.7 to 230.7.
In Scotland, eight of the 32 council areas recorded a rise in the same period, though overall levels remained low.
East Lothian saw the biggest rise, up from 75.6 to 113.9.
Just one of the 22 local authorities in Wales saw an increase in rates in the latest figures: Torfaen, up slightly from 64.9 to 78.8.
Four of the 11 council areas in Northern Ireland witnessed a rise, the biggest being in Mid and East Antrim – up from 90.5 to 124.9.
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has described case rates in “quite a few areas of the UK” as “burning quite hot”, including in the Midlands and spreading up to the west coast of England.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Friday, he said: “Although it is generally good news, I’m afraid it is better news in some places than it is in others and this is not a battle that we have won yet.
“In some parts of the UK case rates are changing, albeit slowly, in the wrong direction.”
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