Portsmouth has lowest coronavirus infection rate of any major city
THE rate of infection for coronavirus is lower in Portsmouth than in any other major city in the UK.
Weekly statistics released by the government show that Covid-19 is spreading significantly less in the city than it is elsewhere.
For comparison, the rate of infection per 100,000 people for the week to July 28 was 1.4 in Portsmouth, compared to 5.5 for Southampton and 53.2 in Leicester – which has been placed into a local lockdown.
The figures have come as a major positive in the eyes of Portsmouth City Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, though he insists people must not get complacent.
He said: ‘This is really good news. People have worked really hard to keep each other safe and although there may be a degree of luck involved, Portsmouth residents can give themselves a huge pat on the back.
‘My main credit goes to our local people who in the vast majority have not only followed the rules and guidelines, but also looked after their neighbours, family and friends.’
In Portsmouth, there have been a total of 512 coronavirus cases since the pandemic broke out in March.
This week saw local lockdowns enforced in Luton, Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
Previously, Cllr Vernon-Jackson has remarked that Portsmouth is one of the 'safest’ cities in the United Kingdom, despite having such a high population density.
On the latest government statistics, he added: ‘It does surprise me a bit. You would expect rural areas to have low infection rates, but not the second most densely-populated city in the country.
‘To me, there is something to be said about people not travelling through Portsmouth to get to places, unlike cities like Manchester which can be passed through by commuters.
‘I think the action we took at the start of the pandemic did help, like the signs on the M275, but the bottom line is that it’s Portsmouth residents who have pulled through on this, and I believe that this should be commended.’