CORONAVIRUS cases continue to surge in Southend as the borough heads towards recording 2,000 cases a week.

There were 1,894 newly confirmed infections in the area the seven days ending December 16.

The infection rate in Southend now stands at 1,036 infections per 100,000 people and is likely to rise in the coming days.

Many neighbourhoods are now recording more than 100 cases per week, and only Southchurch has seen a drop in infections in the last seven days.

The biggest increase have come in West Leigh (109%), Blenheim Park (96%) and Southend Central (79%).

Here is how many cases were recorded in each part of Southend for the week up to December 16:

Great Wakering and Foulness – 75

Shoebury – 121

West Shoebury – 123

Thorpe Bay – 93

Southchurch – 70

Kursaal – 121

St Lukes – 115

Southend Central – 120

Victoria – 116

Chalkwell – 108

Westborough – 111

Prittlewell – 99

Eastwood – 106

Eastwood Park – 88

Belfairs – 83

Blenheim Park – 157

Leigh – 133

West Leigh – 130

It comes as a further 4.25 million courses of Covid antivirals have been secured for the UK in a bid to help tackle Omicron.

The new deals have been accelerated in light of the new variant, with the aim of protecting vulnerable people over the coming months.

It is hoped the move will help reduce hospital admissions and therefore ease pressures on the NHS.

Antivirals are used to either treat those who are infected with a virus or sometimes protect someone who has been exposed from becoming infected.

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They target the virus at an early stage, preventing progression to more severe, or even critical, symptoms.

The UK Government has signed new contracts for 1.75 million additional courses of Merck Sharp and Dohme’s (MSD) molnupiravir (Lagevrio), and 2.5 million additional courses of PF-07321332/ritonavir (Paxlovid) from Pfizer.

They will be available from early next year and are both expected to be effective against Omicron.

The new courses are in addition to the procurement of 480,000 courses of molnupiravir and 250,000 courses of PF-07321332/ritonavir announced in October.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Our Covid-19 booster programme continues at unparalleled pace and it’s vital we further bolster our national response to the virus by ensuring access to the world’s best treatments too.

“This is a mammoth deal for the UK Government and for patients across the country that are set to benefit from these antivirals over the coming months.

“If you’re aged 50 and over or have an underlying health condition and test positive for Covid-19, sign up to the study as soon as you can and take advantage of this remarkable treatment.”