Coronavirus cases are rising in just four areas of England and Wales, new data shows.
The latest government figures, for the seven days up to 28 January, show East Lindsey (where the case rate per 100,000 people is up 28.1%), Melton (up 17.1%), Oldham (up 1.5%) and Derbyshire Dales (up 1.2%) are the only areas where the infection rate increased compared to the previous week.
This interactive map, meanwhile, shows how many COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people there were in your area in the week up to 28 January (the figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland are for the week up to 27 January).
The data shows Knowsley on Merseyside has the highest infection rate in England and Wales, at 613.1 per 100,000 people – though this is down 31.7% from the previous week.
It’s followed by Sandwell in the West Midlands on 548.3 and Slough in Berkshire on 544.3.
Ceredigion in Wales, meanwhile, had the biggest week-on-week fall in cases, at 70.9%.
It comes as Public Health England (PHE) investigates strains of coronavirus in the UK which have developed a mutation which is worrying scientists.
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Eleven cases in the Bristol area have been identified as the variant that originally arose in Kent but are now showing the E484K mutation.
A cluster of 32 cases in Liverpool also have the same mutation but relate to the original strain of coronavirus that has been around since the start of the pandemic.
The South African variant – which also shows the mutation – is under investigation in at least eight postcode areas of England where cases not linked to travel have been found.
A PHE spokesman said: “PHE is monitoring the situation closely and all necessary public health interventions are being undertaken, including enhanced contact tracing and control measures.”
The E484K mutation has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing people contracting COVID-19.
However, public health experts believe current vaccines will still be effective against strains with the mutation, although at a lower level, and are good at preventing severe disease.
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