CUMBRIA’S battle against coronavirus is looking positive according to the county’s top health official.

However, director of public health Colin Cox has also reminded the public that the situation can change quickly.

Much of the county is currently seeing around 10 new cases per 100,000 residents each week – and there has yet to be a negative impact on the figures following the easing of lockdown restrictions earlier this month.

Dr Cox said: “Things are looking positive. The numbers are still going down and there’s no indication so far that things are starting to go up.

“It’s still going in the right direction. We’re still talking about 15 new cases a week, which is very small numbers compared to what it was.

“Carlisle is the lowest in the county with about six cases per 100,000, and it was over 1,100 back at the peak in January. It’s fallen dramatically.”

Despite the good news, Dr Cox was keen to stress that residents should continue to stick to the rules.

He explained that the fall in the numbers was down to a combination of both lockdown and the vaccination programme.

Dr Cox continued: “We have well over half the eligible population vaccinated now, over 290,000 have had at least one dose. It’s phenomenal, really impressive.

“I still keep an eye on the figures every day. It’s really important that everybody gets that we’re not out of the woods. It’s important to continue to take care and follow the restrictions. These things can change very quickly.

“On April 10 in South Lakeland we were seeing four cases per 100,000. By April 17 it was 28 cases per 100,000, because we were seeing an outbreak.

“It’s down to both lockdown and the vaccine. The lockdown has clearly made a big difference to the transmission, but the vaccine has made a difference to risk and mortality.

“You can see that in the national figures, with deaths falling in the older age groups first.

“Vaccination is the long-term way out of this, but in the short-term you need both.”

Dr Cox also revealed that there was more good news in terms of hospital numbers and deaths from Covid-19.

He added: “Hospital numbers are good. They’re very low.

“In terms of deaths, we saw no deaths in Cumbria in the last week.

“We had one week before that where there were no deaths, but it contained a bank holiday so there were only four days for them to be reported.”