The number of people in England getting Covid symptoms each day has dropped 12.5 per cent to 2,800 per day, according to an app tracking the size of the outbreak.
Professor Tim Spector, the King’s College London epidemiologist who runs the project, said the numbers showed reopening schools on March 8 had a ‘very small’ impact on infections.
And he was positive about the fact that numbers of over-60s developing tell-talesymptoms of the disease have been ‘consistently dropping for weeks’. ‘We’re in a good position as we begin to resume life outside of lockdown,’ Professor Spector said.
The Covid Symptom Study’s weekly numbers, published early ahead of the Good Friday bank holiday, estimate how many people in the community develop symptoms of coronavirus each day based on what people report to its app.
It suggested that, up to March 27, 2,839 people developed symptoms of Covid each day in England and 4,152 across the whole of the UK. Both figures were down from last week’s estimates – 3,245 for England and 4,785 for the UK – which had risen slightly from a week earlier.
Separate Test and Trace figures today revealed the number of people being diagnosed with Covid in England fell by 2 per cent last week with 36,606 cases — the lowest rate since September.
The Office for National Statistics will publish its official estimate of the total number of people infected with the virus later today, while Public Health England will update its surveillance report.
It comes after the Mail last night revealed Britain’s coronavirus infection rate is now significantly lower than 25 of the EU’s 27 countries.
The Covid Symptom Study shows that infection rates are still coming down in all adult age groups, although they appear relatively flat in school-age children (blue line)
There are mixed pictures across different regions of England, which Professor Spector said ‘we saw last summer when cases were similarly low’
King’s College London’s Professor Tim Spector (pictured on This Morning) said: ‘We’re in a good position as we begin to resume life outside of lockdown’
The UK’s successful vaccine rollout means it is now in the best position of all major European nations, despite being the worst hit in January.
The weekly infection rate in France — where intensive care units are overwhelmed — is around eight times higher than in the UK.
President Emmanuel Macron last night blamed the so-called ‘British variant’ for the country’s surge in cases, saying it created ‘a pandemic inside a pandemic’ as France heads into its third national lockdown from Saturday.
Professor Spector said: ‘As cases decline again, we’re seeing regional divides widen to a three-fold difference, a familiar trend we saw last summer when cases were similarly low.
‘Last week we reported that cases in children had increased, but this has now reversed with cases falling, suggesting any impact of schools opening was very small.
‘Even more positive news, is that cases in the over-60s have been consistently dropping for weeks.
‘The data shows we’re in a good position as we begin to resume life outside of lockdown and the effect of the vaccine programme should keep numbers low.’
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