Original article from Kent Live
New COVID cases have declined for the seventh day in a row as infection rates plummet in England.
A total of 23,511 were recorded yesterday – less than half of the 54,674 reached on July 17 and the lowest for three weeks.
This decline has also been shown in Kent, where 10 of 13 districts have recorded a considerable drop in new cases.
READ MORE: The sunken Kent hamlet now lost to the sea
Dartford remains the most infected part of Kent, with 513 people testing positive in the seven days to July 23.
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Some 509 people tested positive in the seven days to July 23, equivalent to 452.8 per 100,000 people.
However, this represents a considerable drop off compared to the previous week where 617 people tested positive.
Government scientists have put some of this down to schools breaking up for summer meaning pupils are no longer required to take tests twice a week, but the drop off has been larger than expected.
The Daily Mail reported that one senior minister declared the virus is "all over bar the shouting".
He said: "Of course we have to guard against the emergence of some terrible new variant. But otherwise Covid is on the point of becoming something you live with.
"It drops into the background, but it does not change anything terribly – maybe you have to take a test once in a while."
However there has been some concern over the rising death rates.
A further 131 fatalities have been announced, more than the 96 recorded last Tuesday. It is the highest number of deaths in four months, with 141 fatalities declared on March 17.
Kent's rates in full
From left to right: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to July 23; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to July 23; rate of new cases in the seven days to July 16; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to July 16.
Increased rates are in bold.
Dartford, 455.6, (513), 547.9, (617)
Tonbridge and Malling, 443.4, (586), 510.0, (674)
Maidstone, 428.9, (737), 461.5, (793)
Sevenoaks, 418.2, (505), 509.3, (615)
Medway, 385.6, (1074), 360.1, (1003)
Gravesham, 361.0, (386), 431.1, (461)
Swale, 341.1, (512), 437.8, (657)
Tunbridge Wells, 326.0, (387), 333.5, (396)
Folkestone and Hythe, 281.4, (318), 388.5, (439)
Ashford, 268.4, (349), 333.8, (434)
Dover, 231.9, (274), 234.5, (277)
Canterbury, 220.7, (365), 218.9, (362)
Thanet, 171.2, (243), 138.8, (197)