THE number of new Covid-19 cases dropped by more than 200 hundred in Shropshire in the seven days up to the end of January.

The statistics, collated and released by the Press Association from the government dashboard, shows that in the seven days up to January 31, thee infection rate in Shropshire was 216.9 (per 100,000 people) with 701 new cases.

That is 217 fewer than the seven days up to January 24, with the infection dropping from 284.1.

In Cheshire West and Chester, there was a significant drop in the infection rate at 268.5, with 921 new cases compared to 327.9 and 1125 new cases seven days earlier.

Of the 315 local areas in England, six (two per cent) have seen a rise in case rates, 306 (97 per cent) have seen a fall and three are unchanged.

The six authorities registered an infection rate increase: Rutland (up from 172.8 to 230.4); East Lindsey (94.5 to 143.2); North Kesteven (177.9 to 194.2); Gateshead (202.4 to 212.8); Torbay (167.3 to 171.0) and Hartlepool (319.2 to 320.3).

Sandwell in the West Midlands has the highest rate in England, with 1,698 new cases recorded in the seven days to January 31 – the equivalent of 517 cases per 100,000 people.

This is down from 706 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to January 24.

Knowsley has the second highest rate, down from 778.2 to 487.9, with 736 new cases.

Corby in Northamptonshire is in third place, down from 567.7 to 477.7, with 345 new cases.