Plymouth overtakes Exeter as region’s covid capital

After weeks of Exeter being the covid capital of the south west, Plymouth is now the region’s virus hotspot. 

The Exeter containment is a real success story – Owl

Radio Exe News 

At one point, Exeter had the seventh highest proportion of people with the disease in England, mainly centred on the university campus. Stringent measures there, which prevented students from mixing between households, meant infections into the wider community were contained. Over time, the rate has gone down.

But it’s a different story in Plymouth, where the number of people confirming positive have risen. Derriford Hospital was hit too, with covid patients being identified in non-covid wards. That led to the hospital closing a large number of beds which the situation was brought under control. The city has 155 cases per 100,000 people in the latest figures, still well below the national average, but rising at a higher rate.

The region’s relatively low rate of infections is a double-edged sword. Dr. David Strain of the University of Exeter Medical School says this could leave a large number of vulnerable people who haven’t yet been exposed to coronavirus. “I would be very cautious,” he says, “but I would suggest we could be hit proportionately harder in the second wave than in the first wave.”

The number of people in the RD&E with covid has almost doubled from 23 to 41 in the past week.