SOUTHAMPTON has seen a drop in Covid-19 cases in the past week following an earlier spike.

The city saw the biggest week-on-week rise in coronavirus infection rates, jumping 12-fold from 0.4 new cases for every 100,000 residents to 4.7 in the week ending July 5.

The latest figures released by Public Health England show the rate has now dropped to 1.6.

Other parts of Hampshire have also seen a decrease, with Test Valley dropping from 1.6 to 0.8 and Portsmouth going from 1.4 to 0.9. The infection rate in the New Forest remains at 0.6.

But Winchester and Eastleigh have both experienced a small increase.

New data is released each week and shows how rates of positive coronavirus tests are changing in each area. The tests are carried out both in laboratories and in the wider community.

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

The latest list shows the rate of new cases in the seven days to July 6, followed by the equivalent figure for the previous seven days to June 29.

In recent weeks 53 local authorities have seen their infection rate either stay the same or increase, with Southampton suffering a rise along with Bromley and Islington.

But experts say the increase could be down to the fact that more testing is taking place.

The actual number of coronavirus infections in many areas is still very small and only a handful of newly-diagnosed cases could skew the rate upwards.