THE number of Covid-19 cases in Southend have more than halved in single week but remains higher than the rest of the county.

Public health data shows the rate of new cases in Southend is 8.22 per 100,000 people in the week ending June 28, which is down from 20.8 the previous week.

Meanwhile, Thurrock, which recorded 12.17 per 100,000 the previous week dropped to 7.0 and Essex dropped from 5.82 to just 3.5.

The drop in cases is positive news for the county but indicates Southend is still struggling to achieve the same success rate as its neighbours.

Last week’s figures were high enough to put Southend as 16th highest across the UK for new Covid-19 cases.

However, the council said it was confident the borough is “in the green”.

This means there is no cause for concern in the borough.

Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health, explained the spike in the previous week was the result of a large number of tests being carried out in the community.

These can take up to 72 hours to be recorded.

Mr Ramkhelawon said: “If all these results come back and are recorded on one particular day or week, this can naturally skew your daily and weekly figures.”

It is hoped that numbers can be kept low with a new contact tracing system which was launched earlier this week.

The system, created in partnership with Essex County Council, allows outbreaks in places such as schools, care homes and businesses to be closely monitored.

People are told to immediately self-isolate if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive.  If the virus begins to spread, the council will have the power to implement a local lockdown, which could mean closing down entire businesses, schools or buildings. Southend Council was contact for comment.