Covid cases continue to rise across Merseyside as new variant detected in England

NHS flu and covid vaccine programmes were brought forward by a month, due to risk of the new covid variant.
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Covid-19 is on the rise across the country, with some parts of Merseyside experiencing spikes in the number of people testing positive for the illness.

The increase comes after the NHS’s flu and covid vaccine programmes were brought forward by a month, due to the risk of a new covid variant.

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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed 34 cases of the new covid variant, referred to as BA.2.86 or Pirola in England (as of September 4), with the first case appearing in August.

Providing an update last week, the UKHSA shared details of the new variant. It is not yet known if the new strain is any worse than others, with the UKSHA explaining that in the early stages, “it is often quite difficult to know whether the mutations provide any advantages to the virus”. 

However, covid-19 infection rates are continuing to rise across the country, with NHS England data showing that the the number of hospital patients with the illness increased by 43% in the last four weeks.

Covid-19 cases in Liverpool and Merseyside

According to the latest official government data, which refers to a seven-day period up to September 9, 95 cases of covid-19 were recorded in Liverpool, a decrease of six cases or 6% compared with the seven days prior.

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Knowsley recorded 36 cases during the same period, an increase of eight cases or 29%.

There were 79 cases recorded in Wirral, an increase of eight cases or 11%.

Sefton recorded 75 cases during the seven-day period, an increase of nine cases or 14%.

There were 41 cases recorded in St Helens, a decrease of eight cases or 16%.

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