The UK’s daily Covid cases fell by almost a fifth last week, according to the country’s largest symptom tracking study, the biggest weekly decline since the summer.
Scientists at King’s College London estimated that 72,546 people developed the virus daily for the week ending November 5, up from 88,592 the week before. This was the sharpest decline since the end of July, down 22 percent.
The UK is believed to be enjoying a period of heightened natural immunity after weeks of extremely high Covid transmission rates triggered by the return of school children. Scientists believe the country’s launch of the booster vaccine also plays a role.
The under-18s were believed to have seen the sharpest drop in cases last week after their first week of semester, from about 30,000 to 26,000 per day.
Schools returned from semester last week, but some SAGE scientists say so many are now immune to the virus from previous infection that it is unlikely to trigger a spike.
Infections were also predicted to have decreased in 35-55 year olds and weakened in older age groups eligible for booster doses. Only adults in their twenties saw an increase in cases.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the study, said despite the decline, infections are still “high” and deaths and hospital admissions are “worrying”.
The government’s dashboard shows that there are an average of 165 deaths and 938 hospital admissions per day, compared with 360 and 1,653 at the same time last year.
Professor Spector added that they also spotted “outbreaks” of colds as the country enters winter and that the vaccines have “made it harder than ever to tell the difference between the two”.
It comes after the UK’s daily Covid cases have dropped for nine days in a row and have decreased for every single day but one since October 24th. 39,329 cases were registered yesterday, five percent fewer than last Wednesday. Deaths and hospital stays also fell from week to week.
Scientists at King’s College London estimated that Covid cases in the UK fell 18 percent last week, the biggest drop since July. SAGE scientists had suggested that cases would go down because so many people had immunity to the virus
The graph above shows that Covid cases are falling in both those with double thrusts and in the entire population. Vaccines reduce the risk of someone contracting the virus, but they reduce the risk of serious illness and death
Numbers showed that under 18s saw the sharpest drop in Covid cases last week, seven days after schools returned. There was also a decline among 35 to 55 year olds, while they flattened out in the older age groups. There was a slight increase in adults in their twenties
Across England, Covid cases have decreased in all regions. They also dived in Wales but stayed shallow in Scotland
Covid infection rates declined in all but 10 percent of areas in England for the six-month week, data from the British Health and Safety Authority’s weekly flu and Covid surveillance report shows
Daily Covid cases fall for the NINTH day in a row, with infections falling five percent in a week
Daily Covid infections in the UK fell five percent yesterday, marking the ninth straight day that cases were down.
Health ministry chiefs reported an additional 39,329 cases, a 5 percent decrease from the 41,299 positive tests recorded last Wednesday.
And the number of deaths and hospitalizations fell from week to week, with another 214 deaths recorded (-1 percent) and 823 Covid-infected Britons seeking NHS treatment (-7 percent).
Both measurements are two to three weeks behind the trend in cases due to a delay between a person contracting Covid and the onset of serious illness.
Cases began to decline naturally on October 24th – about two and a half weeks ago, ahead of the half year for the majority of school children in England.
About 79.8 percent of people over 12 across the UK are now double-vaccinated, while 10.9 million people have received a booster shot.
Health Department data showed that there were 31,541 cases recorded in England and 3,852 recorded in Scotland, while 2,171 tested positive in Wales and 1,765 were confirmed in Northern Ireland.
The study, also conducted by data science firm ZOE, relies on daily reports from more than 750,000 Britons as to whether they have symptoms, with those who are sick being asked to test for Covid.
It is self-reported and does not require participants to provide evidence of their symptoms. The latest estimates also used 40,000 tests for the virus in the past fourteen days.
Professor Spector said: “As we head into the colder months, we are seeing a lot of diseases in the population with widespread cold outbreaks and still high levels of Covid.
“The difference between the two is more difficult than ever, as the vaccinees are mild with symptoms such as sneezing, headaches and a runny nose that can easily be passed on to family members or work colleagues.
“To keep the number down, it is important that anyone eligible gets their booster vaccination, even if they recently had a Covid infection, as we’ve shown that natural infections don’t always produce an immune response and protection .
“We know from our research that the vaccines (given in three doses) offer the greatest possible protection against infection with the virus and hospitalization with more severe symptoms.”
The app also estimated cases in people who were double-vaccinated. It suggested they were also down a tenth to 24,766 a day last week.
There are Covid cases among the double vaccinations because vaccination does not always stop an infection, although it lowers the risk by more than 60 percent compared to unvaccinated.
However, evidence shows that vaccinations reduce the risk of serious illness and death in almost all cases.
However, there is concern that immunity to vaccines may decline over time as people who received their second dose more than six months ago are now being asked to get a booster dose.
The study does not appreciate cases in people who were vaccinated or not vaccinated as the app now has very few contributors who fall into this category.
Wales currently has the highest infection rate in the UK with one in 47 people believed to have the virus, it said.
It was followed by England – where an estimated one in 57 is infected – and Scotland – where one in 84 is infected with the virus. Across England there has been a decrease in cases in all regions.
Health ministry chiefs said yesterday that cases, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased week by week.
It registered another 214 deaths, one percentage point less than last week, and 823 Covid shots, a seven percent decrease.
Official data shows that on November 5, Covid cases decreased in every age group except those under 4 compared to the same time the previous week.
In 10 to 14 year olds, too, cases have more than halved since the week before the start of the six-month period when they first began to fall. At that time, the infection rate was around 1,900 cases per 100,000 people, but this has now fallen to below 800.
It comes as the NHS waiting list hit another record high today, reaching 5.83 million people. The eleventh month in a row has reached a new high.
Data from NHS England shows that 1.6 million more Britons were waiting for elective surgeries – such as hip and sharp surgeries – at the end of September compared to the start of the pandemic.
The backlog fueled by Covid forced hospitals to cancel thousands of operations in the darkest days of the crisis to make room for the infected.
The NHS waiting list for routine hospital treatment in England has reached 5.83 million. Official data today showed the eleventh straight month that the number hit a record high. Compared to the beginning of the pandemic, around 1.6 million more Britons were waiting for elective surgeries – such as hip and sharp surgeries – at the end of September
NHS chiefs today warned hospital treatment for thousands of Covid patients, winter pressures and pent-up demand from the pandemic mean that healthcare is now under “unsustainable” pressures.
However, official figures show that Covid infection and hospitalization rates are falling. And around 7,000 patients were in hospitals in England on any day in the past week, compared to 12,000 at the same time last year.
Social care chiefs have warned that the no-prick, no-job home-working policy put in place today will put pressure on hospitals as the sector has less capacity to accommodate patients coming in from hospitals.
And the same mandate that will be in place for all frontline NHS workers this spring is expected to put even more pressure on the healthcare system.
A record number of Brits have now made 999 calls and waited more than 12 hours on A&E.