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You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeBlackburn with Darwen is overtaking Leicester as England coronavirus hotspot as cases double, official figures show, triggering fresh warnings a local lockdown could be imposed.The area in Lancashire where new measures are already in place to curb the spread of Covid 19 had the highest infection rate in England in the seven days up to Friday (July 17), according to the latest official data from NHS Digital.Blackburn with Darwen had 79.2 Covid 19 cases per 100,000 residents as new infections almost doubled in the past week. There were 118 new confirmed infections in the week up to Friday, compared with 63 in the previous seven days.The rate in Leicester, where parts of the city remain under a local lockdown, has dropped to 77.7 per 100,000 people after the number of weekly new cases fell by more than a third.Mirror newsletter all the biggest stories in one emailLeicester had a lower per capita rate than Blackburn with Darwen due to its larger population, but it had the highest number of new infections 276, more than twice as many as Blackburn in the week up to June 17.Leicester, which is more than twice the size of Blackburn with Darwen, saw a week on week decrease of 36% after 429 new cases were detected the previous week.The data is subject to review and could change. New figures are published every afternoon on NHS Digital online dashboard.Professor Dominic Harrison, public health director of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said cases would continue to rise and warned a local lockdown could be imposed.He told the BBC: “We should be concerned the figures have gone up, but I entirely expected them to and I expect them to rise again this week.”Speaking about the potential for a local lockdown, he said: “We would only use those powers as a very, very last resort.”We had good co operation, so I would be very reluctant to use the powers.”(Image: AFP via Getty Images)Public health officials said most new cases in Blackburn with Darwen have been among the South Asian community in terraced houses with a high number of occupants.Residents have been urged to “remain vigilant” and following social distancing rules and lockdown restrictions.Dr Andrew Furber, regional director for PHE North West said: “Overall, levels of coronavirus across Lancashire are reducing, however there has been an recent increase in cases in areas of Blackburn with Darwen.”We are monitoring the situation and would urge people across Blackburn with Darwen to remain vigilant and adhere to social distancing and follow government guidance.”According to the latest data from NHS Digital, these are the 10 areas of England with the highest cases rate (per 100,000 people):.

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