Coronavirus: This is why Sheffield has more cases after nearly 40 per cent rise

The Director of Public Health in Sheffield has explained why the city has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than other areas of a similar size, as the latest figures show an increase of nearly 40 per cent in 24 hours.
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The latest data from Public Health England (PHE) – published on Thursday evening as part of their daily breakdown of confirmed cases in each area – reveals there have been 66 new confirmed cases in the city in the last 24 hours. That number is the biggest rise in a single day so far.

Sheffield’s current total of 240 confirmed cases means the city has the fifth highest number of confirmed cases by upper tier local authorities and NHS Regions in the country.

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The cases are based on the residential postcode of each patient, rather than where they are being treated, a spokesperson for PHE confirmed.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield.Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield.
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield.

On the numbers, Greg Fell, director of PHE in Sheffield, said: "I understand that people may find the reported number of cases in Sheffield worrying, but the data is simply a reflection that there is more testing happening here currently than in some other areas and so by default we know about more positive cases.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean that there's more chance of being infected here than other parts of Yorkshire.”

A spokesperson for PHE said the actual number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus is likely to be “much higher” than the official figures show in every area. This is because as the UK is now in the ‘delay’ phase of dealing with the outbreak, only people in hospitals – where the risk of contagion is higher and the impact more serious – are being tested for the illness.

“The numbers don’t give a true indication,” they said.

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“Throughout the ‘delay’ phase, we are prioritising tests for those who require hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness – while continuing to investigate outbreaks, for example, where several cases are connected, especially in a particular setting such as a care home.”