AFTER sharp growth in Covid cases in Winchester there is the first sign today that a plateau may have been reached.

For the first time since December 13, the number of cases reported in the last seven days is lower than in the previous week.

Today there were 90 cases, taking to 528 the number in the last seven days. The previous seven days had seen 540 cases. The swift turnaround was partly caused by the December 31 figure of 119 passing today from this week to last week.

The number of cases in the Winchester district since the start of the pandemic is 3,258, an infection rate of 2,609 per 100,000, below the UK average of 4,437.

The Press Association national news agency is also collating figures, from Public Health England statistics. In the week to last Saturday, January 2, there were 618 cases in Winchester district for a rolling rate per 100,000 of 495, now slightly below the UK average, compared to the previous seven days figures of 345 and a rolling 276.3. That is an increase of 273 or 79 per cent.

Cases of the contagious new strain are still rising fast in Oliver's Battery and Hursley, according to Government figures released this afternoon. Experts estimate the new strain is 50 per cent more transmissable.

Hampshire Chronicle: OB&HOB&H

In the seven days to January 2, the latest available, 54 cases were reported, up 37 on the previous seven days, an increase of 217 per cent. The rolling number per 100,000 people is climbing to 660.5, well above the UK average.

The most recent figures from the NHS show there are currently 57 Covid patients at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) compared to 44 last week and 105 at Basingstoke hospital compared to 78 previously.

The worst-affected place in the district remains Denmead and Southwick where there have been 94 new cases, up 15, with a rolling number of 916.5. Yesterday the rolling number was 994.5.

Hampshire Chronicle: Denmead and SouthwickDenmead and Southwick

The Winchester ‘district’ covers more than just the 'city' and covers a swathe of central Hampshire from Micheldever to Denmead, and Crawley to Ropley.

Hampshire Chronicle: WinchesterWinchester

Nationally 1,162 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported, the highest figure since April.

In the area covered by Hampshire County Council there were 949 positive test results in the last 24 hours. The seven-day numbers to January 2 are 7,663, up 3,269 or 74.4 per cent, for a rolling 554.3.

Hampshire Chronicle: HampshireHampshire

A further 18 Covid-19 deaths have been reported by the NHS in Hampshire. Portsmouth has been badly affected with 60 deaths reported already in 2021.

At Hampshire Hospitals Trust, which includes the RHCH, there have been no deaths reported today, meaning a total of 253 since the start of the pandemic. At Southampton Hospital the figure is 263, up three, in the latest statistics released today at 2pm. Portsmouth Hospitals Trust recorded a further 15 to take its total to 466. Southern Health Trust remains at 25 deaths, with the figure for the Solent NHS Trust stays at four.

Across the county’s NHS, the five trusts mentioned above, some 1,011 people have died since March.

In Winchester City Council area the figure for deaths is 108, up two. In Portsmouth it is 160, up three, and 163 in Southampton, up four.

The Office for National Statistics reports that 1,162 have died in the Hampshire County Council area, with an increase of 13 reported today.

Other Covid news:

Concerns raised about postponed operations at the RHCH

Read more here

The number of deaths in each postcode in Winchester

Read more here