SOUTH Lakes MP has urged residents to 'not take their eye off the ball' with Covid-19 as South Lakeland has been named as one of the areas with the highest coronavirus week-on-week rate rise, according to Public Health England data.

The figures, for the seven days to April 16, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date.

The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.

Data for the most recent four days (April 17-20) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.

South Lakeland has gone from 4.8 to 26.6.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 111 (35 per cent) have seen a rise in rates, 196 (62 per cent) have seen a fall and eight are unchanged.

The list has been calculated by the PA news agency based on Public Health England data published on April 20 on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “While Covid rates in South Lakeland thankfully still remain low, this increase must serve as a reminder about how important it is that we do not take our eye off the ball.

“It would be utterly heartbreaking if we were to lose a loved one just perhaps days or weeks before they were set to receive their life-saving vaccination.

“So let’s all continue to be vigilant and play our part in saving lives and protecting our NHS.”

This news comes following concern that the lockdown easing on April 12 may cause an increase in coronvirus rates.

Vaccinations are still ongoing and the Government has urged the public to keep safe by sticking with social distancing. They are advising that people should stay two metres apart from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place if you cannot stay two metres apart.