MANCHESTER has seen a huge drop in Covid infections among the younger population as the region gets set to enter into Tier 3 restrictions on Friday.
Experts today revealed that the infection rate among 17-21 year-olds has plummeted in the last few weeks.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
A Government ‘gold’ meeting on the pandemic was chaired yesterday which also found infection rates were dropping in younger age groups across the country and experts claimed that this was because people have been “frightened into following the rules”.
Manchester City Council director of public health David Regan today said there are now 568 cases of the virus per 100,000 of the population of Manchester.
This is a significant drop from 3,350 cases per 100,000 on October 3.
While cases in the region as a whole continue to rise, cases of the virus in Manchester have fallen for the 10th week in a row.
Looking at Greater Manchester as a whole, the area currently has 413.9 cases per 100,000.
Cases of the virus in younger age groups in Manchester have dropped since the start of the month [/caption]
Rochdale is the worst hit in the region with 480.5 cases per 100,000, while Salford has 478.
These figures are taken from the last three weeks, dating back to October 3.
Figures from over the last week – data up to October 17, from Public Health England (PHE) show that Wigan has 459.4 cases per 100,000, Bolton has 436.4, Bury – 415.7, Rochdale – 486.5 and Oldham, 422.6.
The data up to October 17 also shows that Manchester has 426 cases per 100,000, Salford – 461.7, Trafford – 321.9, Stockport 302 and Tameside – 369.5.
The data revealed today by health officials in Manchester is over a longer time period.
The announcement by public health officials in Manchester comes after it was found that there are fewer patients in intensive care in Manchester than there were this time last year.
Greater Manchester will go into Tier 3 restrictions from Friday – meaning that pubs will close and there will be a complete ban on household mixing.
New legislation means that gyms will remain open in the region.
The data showed that Manchester in comparison to Liverpool – the first area put into Tier 3 – show hospital admissions in Manchester are nowhere near those seen in Liverpool.
At Liverpool University NHS Trust, around 266 people a week are being admitted while this figure is just 66 at Manchester University Foundation Trust.
In Liverpool there have been 34 deaths recorded at Liverpool University NHS Trust in the last week and just eight at Manchester University Foundation.
Professor Jane Eddleston, Greater Manchester’s medical lead for the coronavirus response, previously said that Nightingale Hospitals, which had been put on standby, would pick up the additional slack of cases.
She also revealed today that the Nightingale hospital in the area would be opening by the end of next week and will monitor patients who have been transferred from other hospitals.
Critical care occupancy down
At a media briefing today she said: “The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase, it will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.
She said it would be available for use by patients from around the North West.
Looking specifically at critical care occupancy in Manchester, Prof Eddleston said there were 95 patients in critical care with Covid-19, compared to 260 at the peak of the pandemic.
Mr Reagan added that work was continuously being done with universities in the region in order to curb the spread.
He added that this had helped curb the spread in younger age groups.
Graphs shown during Boris Johnson’s Downing Street press conference earlier this week also show rates dropping in people under the age of 30.
Although the Government is “very cautious” about the trend, there’s optimism that a spike in cases when freshers went to university has been driven down.
Cases are still surging in the over-60s and, as a result, hospital admissions and deaths are expected to continue rising.
However, if cases in the young continue to drop, experts hope that will later be reflected in older people too.
Student-dominated areas now have infection rates some 2.5 times higher than elsewhere – down from five times higher a fortnight ago.
Mr Reagan added that the focus is now on an increase in cases in the over-50s and the over-60s.
He said: “Unfortunately our older population are more at risk of developing complications from Covid which may result in hospital admissions.
“That’s where our focus is now and what we need to do is really reinforce those core public health messages, particularly as we move into Tier 3.”