Covid outbreaks SEXTUPLED in size in week before Christmas in England's worst-hit neighbourhoods

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Covid outbreaks SEXTUPLED in size in week before Christmas in England’s worst-hit neighbourhoods as fascinating time-lapse maps show how Omicron has torn through country in less than a month

Cases in Lower Penwortham North, a district of Preston, jumped from 196 to 1,192 per 100,000 people in the week leading up to December 22, the latest date regional data is available for.

Official statistics also show the number of positive tests doubled over the same time-frame in a fifth of England’s 6,800 wards, home to roughly 11million people.

Meanwhile, fascinating time-lapse maps illustrate the sheer speed of Omicron’s journey to reach every corner of the nation.

Academics at the Sanger Institute, one of the country’s largest variant-tracking laboratories, pulled together data highlighting how England went from detecting its first case of the ultra-transmissible lineage towards the end of November to it becoming dominant in swathes of the country within a matter of weeks.

Boris Johnson yesterday held his nerve and opted against bringing in tougher restrictions ahead of NYE to thwart the variant, instead urging people to be cautious with their social plans. 

MailOnline's analysis shows cases in Lower Penwortham North, a district of Preston, jumped from 196 to 1,192 per 100,000 people in the week leading up to December 22, the latest date regional data is available for

No10’s own advisers have repeatedly warned the strain could overwhelm NHS hospitals within weeks, prompting calls for lockdown-esque measures. 

Ministers have refused to rule out adopting tougher curbs in January to bring England in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have already closed nightclubs and reintroduced the rule of six to contain Omicron.

MailOnline’s analysis shows the second largest jump in Covid infections in England in the week up to December 22 was Belle Isle South in Leeds, which saw the number of positive tests spike by 457 per cent.

It was followed by Whitby West in Yorkshire (457 per cent), Droylsden East in Tameside, Greater Manchester (439 per cent), and Central Bolton in Greater Manchester (428 per cent). 

In comparison, cases fell in around 500 of the 6,800 areas of the country (7.8 per cent).

The biggest fall was in Upper Dales in North Yorkshire which saw its case rate fall from 402 per 100,000 on December 15 to 117.3 per 100,000 on December 22 — a drop of 71 per cent.

Mylor Bridge and Frogpool in Cornwall saw the next biggest drop (70 per cent), followed by Appledore and Northam North in Devon (59 per cent).

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data shows Omicron now makes up 92 per cent of all cases in England. Graph shows: The proportion of cases likely to be Omicron (purple) compared to other variants including Delta (light green) over time

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