Coronavirus infection rates have dropped in all areas of the North East - with some registering a fall of more than 50%.

According to the latest seven-day figures for the region, Sunderland has seen the biggest decrease in Covid rates.

The rate per 100,000 people in Sunderland is 465.6 - a drop of 55.7% on the previous week. A total of 1,293 cases were recorded in the city for the seven–day period ending on July 26.

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Meanwhile, infections also continued to fall in other North East areas. The rate in Gateshead fell by 51.6% and South Tyneside by 51.2%

The highest number of Covid cases was in County Durham, at 2,135. But this was still a drop of 49.3% on the previous week.

Newcastle and Northumberland also have more than 1,000 cases but the rate has fallen significantly since last week.

Nationally, rates have fallen in every local authority in England - the first time this has happened in all areas simultaneously since comparable figures began more than a year ago.

Not one of the 315 local authorities recorded a week-on-week rise in rates for the seven days to July 26.

The latest figures suggest the third wave of coronavirus, which began at the end of May, might have peaked.

The average number of new cases of Covid-19 reported each day for the whole of the country has been falling for the past week.

But separate figures published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics suggest infections are continuing to rise in most parts of the UK, meaning it is too soon to say that the peak has definitely passed.

Any change in the long-term trend for infections could become clearer in future weeks.

Sunderland has seen the biggest decrease in Covid rates. Pictured: Sunderland city centre
Sunderland has seen the biggest decrease in Covid rates. Pictured: Sunderland city centre

(These are the seven day infection rates for the week ending July 26, taken from the UK Government's Covid data map. Infection rates are the number of new cases for every 100,000 residents):

South Tyneside - 521.9 (788 cases, down 51.2%)

North Tyneside - 428.5 (891 cases, down 40.9%)

Northumberland - 339.6 (1,095 cases, down 49.9%)

Newcastle upon Tyne - 413.4 (1,252 cases, down 49.2%)

Gateshead - 411.8 (832 cases, down 51.6%)

Sunderland - 465.6 (1,293 cases, down 55.7%)

County Durham - 402.8 (2,135 cases, down 49.3%)

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