Coronavirus cases plummet to levels not seen since July

April Roach
·2-min read
<p>People walk alongside the River Thames in Battersea Park, London</p> (PA)

People walk alongside the River Thames in Battersea Park, London


Coronavirus cases have plummeted to their lowest levels since last July, new data shows.

There is currently an average of 1,924 symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in the UK, according to the ZOE Covid Symptom Study.

The cases are based on swab tests data from up to five days ago and it compares to 4,1542 daily cases from a week ago, a drop of 54 per cent from last week.

The figure is also down 98 per cent from a peak of 69,000 cases at the start of 2021.

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app and professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, said the figures are among the lowest in Europe.

“According to the latest data, daily new cases of Covid have more than halved over a seven day period, with cases now below 2,000,” said professor Spector.

“Admissions and deaths are also continuing to decline, putting the UK in a similar place to July last year.

“It’s unlikely that cases will continue to fall at this pace, but with the vaccinations programme and the weather improving, it’s likely they will remain low.”

Other findings from the weekly survey showed the UK R value is at 0.7.

The R rate represents the average number of people each coronavirus positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

Across the country, the R number was 0.8 in England, 0.5 in Wales and 0.8 in Scotland, according to the survey.

The data also showed that the average rate of prevalence for symptomatic disease across the UK is 1 in 1,394.

Professor Spector added: “This week the government announced plans to make home-based lateral flow tests accessible as a tactic to catch more cases.

“According to our own data 5 in 1000 of these tests give a false positive result, so we are encouraging people to take a lateral flow test at least twice if positive and confirm it with a full NHS PCR test.

“However, people also need to know all the 20 symptoms, including sore throat, headache and fatigue, not just the classic three. So if you feel unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid, stay at home and get a test.”

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