Britain’s Covid deaths have fallen by more than a quarter in a week today, despite the number continuing to climb for the eighth day.
The number of people who fell victim to the virus fell, with 122 deaths recorded today – 25.6 percent less than last week.
And also the number of hospital admissions continues to fall with 777 admissions recorded on Tuesday, the latest date data is available for.
It was the eleventh day in a row that the number of admissions fell, a total of 14.5 percent lower than the week before.
Health Ministry bosses today reported 31,348 new infections, up four percent from Saturday’s total of 30,144.
The figure came after separate data suggested Covid infections plummeted last week, despite fears the new school year might spark a fall wave sooner.
One in 90 people in England had the virus, with a total of about 620,100 infected, according to testing by the Office for National Statistics.
This is 18 percent less than two weeks earlier, when one in 70 tested positive and the estimated total number of infections stood at 754,000.
The weekly ONS survey, based on random swabs from 150,000 people, is seen by the government as the most reliable measure of the epidemic.
It comes as:
- Scientists said a UK study assessing whether Covid vaccines can disrupt menstruation may find nothing because it’s too small;
- It was revealed that hospitals should ration chemotherapy to cancer patients with the best chance of survival;
- The top scientists at No10 said the R-rate plunged below one for the first time since mid-August and could now be as low as 0.8;
- Hospital admissions for Covid have fallen to two-month lows as dismal warnings from top government scientists failed again;
- A damning report revealed that thousands of cancer patients will die in the next decade as a result of the devastating treatment backlog caused by the pandemic.
The government said as of today a further 122 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, bringing the total in the UK to 136,105.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that there are now 160,000 deaths recorded in the UK where Covid-19 was listed on the death certificate.
As of 9am on Saturday, there were a further 31,348 lab-confirmed Covid cases in the UK, the government said.
In a further boost to hopes that the pandemic may be over, government scientists said the R rate — the average number infected by someone with the virus — may have fallen below one for the first time since March. R is between 0.8 and 1 in England, which means the epidemic is shrinking.
ONS study leader Kara Steel said: ‘Infection levels in England have fallen for the first time in weeks, although rates in the UK generally remain high.
“It is encouraging that the number of infections among young adults has continued to fall, possibly as a result of the impact of the vaccination program.”
Office for National Statistics weekly surveillance report estimated that 620,100 people had the virus on any given day in the week to September 18, an 11 percent drop from the previous seven days (shown above)
Infections are highest among high school students, with about one in 35 testing positive, reflecting the fact that many in this age group have yet to be vaccinated.
But the ONS report shows that the number of cases has decreased or remained the same in every other age group.
Last week, Boris Johnson said further restrictions may be needed under a ‘Plan B’ this winter after scientists warned the virus could cripple the NHS again.
No10 declined to say when Plan B — including mandatory masks, vaccine passports and working from home — could be introduced.
But scientists have suggested the NHS would struggle if the total number of hospital cases exceeded 10,000.
The latest data shows that the number of admissions has fallen by 16 percent in the past week and that there are 7,124 Covid patients in hospital – the lowest level since August.
Current UK hospital admissions, at 572 per day, are about half the best case scenario in Sage models.
Daily infections currently average 36,000, with a further 35,623 cases and 180 deaths yesterday.
Experts have warned that a back-to-school wave is still possible and England could follow the trajectory of Scotland, where cases recently reached an all-time high.
James Naismith, Oxford University professor, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, said: ‘The very high prevalence in Scotland is a concern – it’s about double that in England.
“I sincerely hope England don’t reach the level seen in Scotland.” He added: ‘Cases remain concentrated in the very youngest, who are least likely to get sick and end up in hospital.
‘Due to vaccination there is no going back to the death rates… we saw it early this year.’