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“The number of cases are far higher than we have ever seen in the pandemic"



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Health officials in West Berkshire say the number of Covid cases has trebled in the last month.

There are now around 300 new cases a day.

“It is hard to predict when we might peak,” Matt Pearce, service director for communities and wellbeing, told the Local Outbreak Engagement Board last night (Monday).

“There are some indicators that London is peaking, but we need a few more days' data to see that, and we are a few weeks behind.

“We are seeing huge numbers here. Around 3,300 in the last seven days.

“The number of cases are far higher than we have ever seen in the pandemic.

"Around 32 per cent of people tested are positive. That is a three fold increase from when we last met. It just shows the speed and the spread of the new variant Omicron.

"The vast majority of Omicron cases is affecting the younger ages but we are yet to see what the transmission looks like in schools.”

The numbers are the second highest in Berkshire, with Bracknell Forest top at 36.3 percent of people testing positive. The South East average is 31.3 per cent.

He said that hospital data showed a significant rise in activity with numbers doubling in the past month.

He added there are 75 patients in the Royal Berkshire Hospital, in the past month, which is double the number on the previous month.

“Not as many are severely ill,” he said. “And not as many on ventilators, but those in ICU tend to be partially or not vaccinated.”

No deaths have been reported of West Berkshire residents in the past week.

The meeting also heard that all over 18s in West Berkshire have now been offered a booster dose.

Tribute was paid to jab centre volunteers at the Hungerford pop-up centre at the town's cricket club, which delivered 7,549 boosters - double the expected amount.

Thirty people were also given jabs at the Newbury Soup Kitchen in December, delivered by Thatcham Medical Practice and the Tilehurst Surgery gave vaccines to Afghan refugees staying in local hotels.



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