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England’s Covid outbreak shrank in size by 16 per cent last week, official figures revealed today as experts hailed the country’s ‘wall of immunity’ for keeping the virus at bay.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which analyses tens of thousands of random tests to track the spread of the infection, estimated 925,400 people were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6.

The figure equates to one in 60 people having the virus and is a significant drop on the calculation of 1,103,300 published last week, which had yet to show any downturn following the back-to-school wave despite official data showing the outbreak was naturally retreating.

And cases appear to be dropping in all age groups, most notably among 11 to 16-year-olds. But around 5 per cent of secondary school pupils were thought to have been carrying the virus in the last week, compared to roughly 7.5 per cent during half-term week.

Government advisers today said the R rate has fallen for the second week in a row. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) now estimates the rate stands at between 0.8 and 1 but caution that it reflects the situation three weeks ago, rather than now. 

One expert claimed the drop has been triggered ‘almost entirely by the wall of immunity, rather than behavioural changes or restrictions’, with the combination of the explosion in cases triggered by schools going back and the country’s vaccination drive credited for the drop. 

And separate data published yesterday by the UK’s largest symptom-tracking study revealed cases fell by almost a fifth in the biggest weekly drop since the summer.

Meanwhile, Department for Health data yesterday showed Covid cases increased 14 per cent, marking the first rise in 10 days. But hospitalisations and deaths both fell week-on-week.  

The Office for National Statistics, which calculates case numbers based on thousands of random swab tests, found 925,400 people in the country were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. The figure equates to one in 60 people having the virus and is 16.1 per cent lower than the estimated 1,103,300 cases one week earlier, when one in 50 people were infected

The Office for National Statistics, which calculates case numbers based on thousands of random swab tests, found 925,400 people in the country were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. The figure equates to one in 60 people having the virus and is 16.1 per cent lower than the estimated 1,103,300 cases one week earlier, when one in 50 people were infected

The Office for National Statistics, which calculates case numbers based on thousands of random swab tests, found 925,400 people in the country were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. The figure equates to one in 60 people having the virus and is 16.1 per cent lower than the estimated 1,103,300 cases one week earlier, when one in 50 people were infected

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed every region of the country recorded an R rate between 0.8 and 1, apart from the South West, where the figure is between 0.7 and 1. The UKHSA said the rate at which infections are rising day-by-day is between -3 per cent and 1 per cent. This means that the number of new Covid cases could be broadly flat, shrinking by up to 3 per cent every day or growing by up to 1 per cent every day. But the UKHSA warned the R rate and growth rate should be interpreted with huge caution because it is a lagging indicator and only shows the situation on the ground from around three weeks ago

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed every region of the country recorded an R rate between 0.8 and 1, apart from the South West, where the figure is between 0.7 and 1. The UKHSA said the rate at which infections are rising day-by-day is between -3 per cent and 1 per cent. This means that the number of new Covid cases could be broadly flat, shrinking by up to 3 per cent every day or growing by up to 1 per cent every day. But the UKHSA warned the R rate and growth rate should be interpreted with huge caution because it is a lagging indicator and only shows the situation on the ground from around three weeks ago

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed every region of the country recorded an R rate between 0.8 and 1, apart from the South West, where the figure is between 0.7 and 1. The UKHSA said the rate at which infections are rising day-by-day is between -3 per cent and 1 per cent. This means that the number of new Covid cases could be broadly flat, shrinking by up to 3 per cent every day or growing by up to 1 per cent every day. But the UKHSA warned the R rate and growth rate should be interpreted with huge caution because it is a lagging indicator and only shows the situation on the ground from around three weeks ago

No10's top scientists tracking the R rate — which measures the speed the outbreak is growing at — estimated that it was between 0.8 and 1 in England. This suggests that for every ten people who have the virus, they are passing it on to between eight and 10 others

No10's top scientists tracking the R rate — which measures the speed the outbreak is growing at — estimated that it was between 0.8 and 1 in England. This suggests that for every ten people who have the virus, they are passing it on to between eight and 10 others

No10’s top scientists tracking the R rate — which measures the speed the outbreak is growing at — estimated that it was between 0.8 and 1 in England. This suggests that for every ten people who have the virus, they are passing it on to between eight and 10 others

The graph shows the Office for National Statistics' estimates for the proportion of people testing positive in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the last 12 months (left) and in the last 10 weeks (right). The survey randomly swabs 100,000 Britons every seven days — even if they have no symptoms of the virus — to estimate its prevalence in the country. It found 925,400 people in England were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. In Wales, the number of people testing positive dropped during the most recent week. The ONS estimated 64,900 people (2.13 per cent) — one in 45 — were infected on any day. Some 24,700 people (1.35 per cent) were infected in Northern Ireland, a rate of one in 75 people, according to the statisticians, but they noted the trend in the country was uncertain. In Scotland, where one in 85 people were thought to have the virus (62,100, 1.18 per cent), the ONS said cases had plateaued

The graph shows the Office for National Statistics' estimates for the proportion of people testing positive in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the last 12 months (left) and in the last 10 weeks (right). The survey randomly swabs 100,000 Britons every seven days — even if they have no symptoms of the virus — to estimate its prevalence in the country. It found 925,400 people in England were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. In Wales, the number of people testing positive dropped during the most recent week. The ONS estimated 64,900 people (2.13 per cent) — one in 45 — were infected on any day. Some 24,700 people (1.35 per cent) were infected in Northern Ireland, a rate of one in 75 people, according to the statisticians, but they noted the trend in the country was uncertain. In Scotland, where one in 85 people were thought to have the virus (62,100, 1.18 per cent), the ONS said cases had plateaued

The graph shows the Office for National Statistics’ estimates for the proportion of people testing positive in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland in the last 12 months (left) and in the last 10 weeks (right). The survey randomly swabs 100,000 Britons every seven days — even if they have no symptoms of the virus — to estimate its prevalence in the country. It found 925,400 people in England were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. In Wales, the number of people testing positive dropped during the most recent week. The ONS estimated 64,900 people (2.13 per cent) — one in 45 — were infected on any day. Some 24,700 people (1.35 per cent) were infected in Northern Ireland, a rate of one in 75 people, according to the statisticians, but they noted the trend in the country was uncertain. In Scotland, where one in 85 people were thought to have the virus (62,100, 1.18 per cent), the ONS said cases had plateaued

The graphs show the ONS estimate of the percentage of people infected with Covid in each of England's nine regions. Infections increased in the East Midlands — which also has the highest rate in the country, with 2 per cent of the local population thought to be carrying the virus. Meanwhile, case levels in the West Midlands were unclear, the ONS said. Cases were also higher than the national average in Yorkshire and the Humber (2 per cent), the West Midlands and the South West (1.9 per cent), as well as the North West (1.8 per cent). But rates were lower in the East of England (1.7 per cent), South East (1.5 per cent), North East (1.4 per cent) and London (1.2 per cent)

The graphs show the ONS estimate of the percentage of people infected with Covid in each of England's nine regions. Infections increased in the East Midlands — which also has the highest rate in the country, with 2 per cent of the local population thought to be carrying the virus. Meanwhile, case levels in the West Midlands were unclear, the ONS said. Cases were also higher than the national average in Yorkshire and the Humber (2 per cent), the West Midlands and the South West (1.9 per cent), as well as the North West (1.8 per cent). But rates were lower in the East of England (1.7 per cent), South East (1.5 per cent), North East (1.4 per cent) and London (1.2 per cent)

The graphs show the ONS estimate of the percentage of people infected with Covid in each of England’s nine regions. Infections increased in the East Midlands — which also has the highest rate in the country, with 2 per cent of the local population thought to be carrying the virus. Meanwhile, case levels in the West Midlands were unclear, the ONS said. Cases were also higher than the national average in Yorkshire and the Humber (2 per cent), the West Midlands and the South West (1.9 per cent), as well as the North West (1.8 per cent). But rates were lower in the East of England (1.7 per cent), South East (1.5 per cent), North East (1.4 per cent) and London (1.2 per cent)

The graphs show the estimated number of Britons infected with Covid within different age groups. The ONS calculated that cases remained highest among children aged 11 to 16, but fell from 7.5 per cent on the week ending October 30 to 4.8 per cent on the seven days up to Noverm 6. During the most recent seven-day spell cases also fell among almost all other age groups as well, including under-11s (3.8 per cent), those aged 25 to 34 (0.7 per cent), 35 to 49 (1.8 per cent), 50 to 69 and the over-70s (1 per cent). But cases remain highest among young people and the trend was uncertain among 17 to 24-year-olds (1.4 per cent)

The graphs show the estimated number of Britons infected with Covid within different age groups. The ONS calculated that cases remained highest among children aged 11 to 16, but fell from 7.5 per cent on the week ending October 30 to 4.8 per cent on the seven days up to Noverm 6. During the most recent seven-day spell cases also fell among almost all other age groups as well, including under-11s (3.8 per cent), those aged 25 to 34 (0.7 per cent), 35 to 49 (1.8 per cent), 50 to 69 and the over-70s (1 per cent). But cases remain highest among young people and the trend was uncertain among 17 to 24-year-olds (1.4 per cent)

The graphs show the estimated number of Britons infected with Covid within different age groups. The ONS calculated that cases remained highest among children aged 11 to 16, but fell from 7.5 per cent on the week ending October 30 to 4.8 per cent on the seven days up to Noverm 6. During the most recent seven-day spell cases also fell among almost all other age groups as well, including under-11s (3.8 per cent), those aged 25 to 34 (0.7 per cent), 35 to 49 (1.8 per cent), 50 to 69 and the over-70s (1 per cent). But cases remain highest among young people and the trend was uncertain among 17 to 24-year-olds (1.4 per cent)

The ONS Covid survey randomly swabs 100,000 Britons every seven days — even if they have no symptoms of the virus — to estimate its prevalence in the country.

It is seen as the gold-standard surveillance project tracking the spread of the virus by ministers.

In Wales, the number of people testing positive dropped during the most recent week. The ONS estimated 64,900 people (2.13 per cent) — one in 45 — were infected on any day.

Some 24,700 people (1.35 per cent) were infected in Northern Ireland, a rate of one in 75 people, according to the statisticians, but they noted the trend in the country was uncertain.

Daily UK Covid cases rise for first time in 10 days with today’s 42,408 infections up 14% in a week

Britain’s daily coronavirus cases rose for the first time in over a week today but hospital and death rates continued to fall.

There were 42,408 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to the Government’s Covid dashboard, which marked a 14 per cent rise on last week.

Cases had been in freefall since late October — believed to be due to growing immunity in children — except for one blip on November 1, when they rose by around 9 per cent.

Latest hospital data shows there were 868 Covid admissions on November 7 which was nearly 14 per cent lower than the figure the previous week. 

Another 195 coronavirus deaths were also registered today in a 9 per cent decrease compared to the toll last Thursday. 

Hospitalisations and deaths — which are both lagging indicators — have been falling for six and three days in a row, respectively.

It came as the country’s largest symptom-tracking study found that symptomatic cases fell by almost a fifth last week in the biggest weekly drop since summer. 

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In Scotland, where one in 85 people were thought to have the virus (62,100, 1.18 per cent), the ONS said cases had plateaued.

Within England, cases fell in seven of the country’s nine regions. Infections increased in the East Midlands — which also has the highest rate in the country, with 2 per cent of the local population thought to be carrying the virus. Meanwhile, case levels in the West Midlands were unclear, the ONS said.

Cases were also higher than the national average in Yorkshire and the Humber (2 per cent), the West Midlands and the South West (1.9 per cent), as well as the North West (1.8 per cent).

But rates were lower in the East of England (1.7 per cent), South East (1.5 per cent), North East (1.4 per cent) and London (1.2 per cent).

Meanwhile, infection rates remained highest among children aged 11 to 16, but fell from 7.5 per cent on the week ending October 30 to 4.8 per cent on the seven days up to Noverm 6.

During the most recent seven-day spell cases also fell among almost all other age groups as well, including under-11s (3.8 per cent), those aged 25 to 34 (0.7 per cent), 35 to 49 (1.8 per cent), 50 to 69 and the over-70s (1 per cent).

But cases remain highest among young people and the trend was uncertain among 17 to 24-year-olds (1.4 per cent). 

The drop in cases recorded by the ONS comes weeks after daily data first registered that cases were falling.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist at the University of East Anglia, explained: ‘Because this report presents prevalence and people often remain positive for more than a week after becoming infected it will always look like data here are falling more slowly than seen in daily case reports which are incidence data.’  

Professor Julian Hiscox, an infection and global health expert at Liverpool University, told the Financial Times the downward trend in the official daily Covid cases was different to the drops after the first and second waves, because it was caused ‘almost entirely by the wall of immunity, rather than behavioural changes or restrictions’.

He said: ‘We could end up in a very nice window thanks to the timing of our booster programme, whereby our peak in population immunity coincides with the winter months when the health service is under most pressure.’

Some experts believe high immunity among the population — from the success of the Covid vaccination programme and natural immunity from high infection rates — means the virus is left with no one left to infect, causing cases to plummet without restrictions.

But others have called for mandatory face masks, work from home guidance and vaccine passports to suppress cases, arguing vaccines alone cannot contain the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, No10’s top scientists tracking the R rate — which measures the speed the outbreak is growing at — estimated that it was between 0.8 and 1 in England.

This suggests that for every ten people who have the virus, they are passing it on to between eight and 10 others. 

King's College London scientists estimated Britain's Covid cases fell by 18 per cent last week, in the biggest drop since July. SAGE scientists had suggested that cases would fall as so many people had immunity against the virus

King's College London scientists estimated Britain's Covid cases fell by 18 per cent last week, in the biggest drop since July. SAGE scientists had suggested that cases would fall as so many people had immunity against the virus

King’s College London scientists estimated Britain’s Covid cases fell by 18 per cent last week, in the biggest drop since July. SAGE scientists had suggested that cases would fall as so many people had immunity against the virus

Covid cases in over-80s plunge to lowest level since start of AUGUST

Covid infections among over-80s in England have fallen to their lowest level in three months, official figures revealed yesterday in more evidence of the ‘booster effect’.

The UK Health Security Agency’s weekly Covid and flu surveillance report showed 82 people in the cohort per 100,000 tested positive in the week up to November 7.

The figure is the lowest recorded since August 8, when it stood at 70.4 per 100,000. 

In the most recent peak, infection rates reached a high of  134.5 per 100,000 on October 24, before falling for the most recent two weeks.

For comparison, the infection number among the oldest Britons soared to 620 per 100,000 during the peak of the second wave in January.

It comes as more than 70 per cent of over-80s have had their booster dose. The top-up jabs are a key part of the Government’s plan to control infections, hospitalisations and deaths over the winter.

Infection rates also fell among all other age groups, apart from children aged four and younger. Some 159 per 100,000 tested positive in the most recent seven-day period, compared to 157 per 100,000 one week earlier. 

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Every region of the country recorded an R rate between 0.8 and 1, apart from the South West, where the figure is between 0.7 and 1. 

The UKHSA said the rate at which infections are rising day-by-day is between -3 per cent and 1 per cent. This means that the number of new Covid cases could be broadly flat, shrinking by up to 3 per cent every day or growing by up to 1 per cent every day. 

But the UKHSA warned the R rate and growth rate should be interpreted with huge caution because it is a lagging indicator and only shows the situation on the ground from around three weeks ago.  

It comes after separate figures — published daily on the Government’s Covid dashboards — revealed a further 42,408 new infections, marking a 14 per cent rise on the 37,269 cases recorded on the previous Thursday.

Cases had been in freefall since late October — believed to be due to growing immunity in children — except for one blip on November 1, when they rose by around 9 per cent.

But latest hospital data shows admissions fell 14 per cent in a week to 868, while daily Covid deaths fell nine per cent to 195. Hospitalisations and deaths — which are both lagging indicators — have been falling for six and three days in a row, respectively.

And another set of statistics, released yesterday by researchers at King’s College London, showed Britain’s daily Covid cases fell by almost a fifth in a week.

The team, which runs the country’s largest symptom-tracking study called ZOE, estimated 72,546 people were falling ill with the virus every day in the week to November 5, down from 88,592 the week before.

This marked the sharpest fall since the end of July, when there was a 22 per cent fall.

But Professor Tim Spector, who leads the study, said despite the drop, infections were still ‘high’ and levels of deaths and hospitalisations recorded daily across the UK were ‘worrying’.

He said the Kings College scientist also spotted ‘outbreaks’ of colds as the country heads into the winter, and that the vaccines had made ‘knowing the difference between the two harder than ever’.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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