Half of England’s hospital trusts have reported no coronavirus deaths in the past 48 hours, new figures show.
Some 65 trusts – or 49.6% – did not record a COVID-19-related death over the weekend, according to NHS England data analysed by Oxford University researchers on Monday.
It’s another sign the spread of the virus is beginning to slow down in England, which has so far recorded 34,272 deaths.
However, reporting delays have meant weekend death tolls have tended to be lower during the outbreak.
Nonetheless, it points to progress. On Monday last week, for example, only 41 hospital trusts had reported no deaths in the preceding 48 hours.
Meanwhile, 12 trusts have reported zero COVID-19 deaths in the past seven days, the data showed on Monday.
It comes after Downing Street said the scientific consensus is that it is “unlikely” Monday’s easing of the lockdown in England will push the coronavirus transmission rate (R) past the crucial value of one, amid concerns ministers are acting too soon.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “We have worked to gradually and safely ease the lockdown measures.
“The consensus from the scientists is if test and trace is up and running and the public follow the social distancing guidance then it’s unlikely the measures will push the R above one.”
From Monday, schools have reopened for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils, while car showrooms and outdoor retail spaces have been allowed to reopen.
Meanwhile, outdoor gatherings of more than six people have been permitted, after previously being limited to two people.
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