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England’s Covid cases fell by 10% last week, mass surveillance study reveals

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England’s Covid cases fell by 10% last week, mass surveillance study reveals as interactive map lays bare worst-hit areas and fears grow that country’s outbreak is growing again with Europe in crisis

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England’s Covid cases dipped 10 per cent last week, mass surveillance figures suggest — but there are mounting fears the outbreak is growing again. 

Office for National Statistics weekly surveillance estimated there were 824,900 Covid cases over the week to November 13, equivalent to one in 65 people. This was down slightly from 925,400 previously.

But there are early hints cases in parts of the country — including the North East, London and the South West — may be beginnging to rise again.

Several Covid studies have suggested cases are already rising, with upticks registered among children after they returned to the classroom from half-term. Daily infections are also trending upwards.

It comes amid a surging Covid crisis on the continent, with Austria today becoming the first to impose another lockdown and telling all citizens they must have received two doses of the jab by February.

Boris Johnson has warned that the continent’s Covid wave could wash up on Britain’s shores, but infectious disease experts say this is unlikely because the UK had its wave in the summer.

Office for National Statistics weekly surveillance estimated there were 824,900 Covid cases in England over the week to November 13, equivalent to one in 65 people. This was down slightly from 925,400 previously

Office for National Statistics weekly surveillance estimated there were 824,900 Covid cases in England over the week to November 13, equivalent to one in 65 people. This was down slightly from 925,400 previously

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/latest

ONS surveillance relies on random swabbing of more than 100,000 Britons every week to estimate the prevalence of the virus across the country.

It is seen as the gold-standard for tracking the outbreak by ministers because it is not affected by asymptomatic infections when there are no symptoms — thought to make up a third of cases.

Figures suggested Wales had the highest infection rate in the UK last week, with one in 55 people likely infected with the virus. It was followed by England and Northern Ireland, at one in 65, and Scotland, at one in 95.

When cases were broken down by age groups figures showed only 11 to 16-year-olds saw a drop in cases last week. Infections flatlined in all other groups.

It comes after separate surveillance figures published yesterday also showed Covid cases fell by ten per cent last week. 

King’s College London scientists estimated 65,059 people were falling ill with the virus on any day in the week to November 13, down from 72,546 previously. 

It marked the third consecutive week that cases have trended down, and the lowest number of weekly infections since late September, before the back-to-school wave had truly kicked in. 

Cases dipped among over-75s and levelled off for over-18s, the app suggested. But in children infections began to rise again after they returned to school following the half-term break. 

Professor Tim Spector, the eminent scientist who leads the study, said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ Christmas will be business as usual this year. 

This was a softening in his tone from last month when he joined a chorus of experts calling on ministers to switch to Plan B — bringing back hated face masks, social distancing and work from home guidance. 

Fears of another Christmas lockdown were sparked this week when Boris Johnson admitted that the drastic action was not completely off the cards at a Downing Street press conference. But the Prime Minister also said there was still nothing to suggest England needed to ramp up its Covid restrictions.

Britain’s daily Covid infections dropped yesterday week-on-week for the first time in seven days, and deaths and hospitalisations from the virus also fell. 

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