FRESH Covid graphs show how infection rates are FALLING in more areas across England than it was at the start of October.
Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van Tam showed the hopeful picture of a country which is starting to claw back some ground from the spread of coronavirus.
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Pictures of England for the week up to October 6 show huge parts of the country were overwhelmed by rising cases.
Almost all areas except for the South West had infection rates which were soaring.
But a fresh graph from the week up to October 14 show a very different picture.
Huge parts of England are dotted with light green showing cases have begun to fall.
Professor Van Tam said this evening: "In contrast, the rate of change is more variable and there are more patches of green – indicating a negative rate of change – as there are new patches of dark brown, such as in places like Lincolnshire."
Crucially, areas such as Lancaster turned from a dark brown to a lighter green, showing cases had begun to fall after it was thrown into a Tier 3 lockdown last week.
But the change might not be huge – the shading means the fall in infection rate is between 1 case and 21 cases.
Given the soaring infection rate in Lancashire is 447.9 cases per 100,000, the difference could only be marginal.
And the graph showing infection rates in different parts of the country show even more parts of England have turned dark purple – the highest band.
It shows the virus is spreading slowly but steadily south, as the Birmingham, which had lower infection rates last week, was swallowed up into the hardest hit areas.
And Professor Van Tam warned the number of coronavirus cases in the most vulnerable 65 and over age bracket had crept up.
He said: "It's pretty stark (cases in older age groups) have increased very markedly.
"And that's not just in the North East and North West, but in the East midland and Yorkshire and Humber as well."
Professor Van Tam said the the low infection rates in parts of the UK justified the Government's refusal to introduce a two week "circuit breaker" lockdown, similar to what has been done in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
He said: "Pretty much everywhere in England is now heating up to some extent.
"And we are trying to walk a very fine line between getting the virus under control where it is out of control and incurring minimum amount of economic damage in doing so.
"In areas where it is out of control, hard measures are needed.
"Do I think right now it is appropriate to insist on the same level for (areas where the incidence is low)? No, I don't."
Even more Brits will be plunged into a Tier 3 lockdown after Boris Johnson announced Greater Manchester would be given the highest Covid alert level.
It means another 2.3 million people will have to live under tough restrictions.
But Mr Johnson stressed the variable rates of coronavirus back the decision to focus on regional lockdowns.
He said: "Across the world the countries that are waging the mot successful fights against coronavirus are adopting regional and local measures to protect their populations."
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