A SUSTAINED fall in the number of coronavirus deaths of Blackburn with Darwen's residents is 'great news' its director of public health has said.

Professor Dominic Harrison believes a combination of lockdown control measures and vaccination is working to reduce the Covid-19 risk to the borough's population.

And he has urged people to get the coronavirus jab to speed the exit from the pandemic.

Prof Harrison has released his department 'Blackburn with Darwen Covid Death Summary' analysis of data up to February 16.

That shows that there have been 379 deaths within 28 days of positive test among Blackburn with Darwen residents since the start of the pandemic out of more than 900 across East Lancashire.

It also reveals there has been a gradual decrease in the boroughs daily death toll since January 1 with just one on February 16 and none at all on some recent days.

At the beginning of January there were days with between five and nine deaths of Blackburn with Darwen residents.

Professor Harrison said: “We are now seeing a sustained reduction in deaths from Covid across Blackburn with Darwen due to the dual effects of vaccination in the most at risk group of those over 70 , and the effects of the continuing reduction in case rates due to lockdown.

"This is great news and it shows that both control measures and vaccination are working together well to bring a rapid improvement to the overall risks to the residents of the Borough.

"I want to urge everyone to come forward for vaccination when they are offered. Vaccination is clearly working. No one should now be hesitating to ‘see how it goes’.

"Vaccination is going to be a key pathway to ‘pandemic exit’ for this borough”.

As of February 12 Blackburn with Darwen has an infection rate of 22.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Burnley, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale's rates were all below 200 per 100,000 population,