Number of Britons falling ill with Covid every day FALLS to below 70,000


The number of Britons falling ill with Covid every day fell for the first time in a month last week, according to one of the country’s biggest surveillance studies. 

King’s College London scientists running a symptom-tracking app estimated 69,993 people were getting infected daily in the week ending October 9, down 1.6 per cent from 71,111 the week before.

Despite the ray of hope, Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist who leads the study, warned the NHS may face ‘disaster’ this winter if the high case numbers trickle into the over-55s despite the downturn.

New cases in schoolchildren in England are at their highest level since comparable figures began in autumn 2020, according to separate data released by the UK Health Security Agency today.

A total of 1,121 positive tests per 100,000 in people aged 10 to 19 were recorded in the seven days leading up to Sunday. 

It comes after more up-to-date figures showed cases hit a three-month high yesterday and hospital admissions jumped again — but deaths fell.

The Department of Health’s daily update showed there were 42,776 positive tests across the country in the last 24 hours, up by seven per cent on the previous week. The figure was the highest recorded since July 21, when 44,104 infections were posted and marked the eighth day in a row of rising cases. 

King's College London scientists estimated 69,993 people were getting infected daily in the week ending October 9, down 1.6 per cent from 71,111 the week before

King’s College London scientists estimated 69,993 people were getting infected daily in the week ending October 9, down 1.6 per cent from 71,111 the week before

Map shows: The percentage change in case rates in authorities across in England during the week ending October 7
Map shows: The percentage change in case rates in authorities across in England during the week ending October 14

Coronavirus cases grew in 127 out of 149 authorities, with the biggest increases seen in West Berkshire (92 per cent), Darlington (57 per cent) and Torbay (50 per cent)

The ZOE Covid Study estimated the number of daily new cases is now falling in under-18s but remains high across all age groups. Cases are now rising steadily in 35- to 55-year-olds and remain low in those aged between 18 and 35 and over-55s

The ZOE Covid Study estimated the number of daily new cases is now falling in under-18s but remains high across all age groups. Cases are now rising steadily in 35- to 55-year-olds and remain low in those aged between 18 and 35 and over-55s

In terms of prevalence, cases are highest in Wales, Midlands, North West and North East. They have been falling consistently in Scotland since the start of October

In terms of prevalence, cases are highest in Wales, Midlands, North West and North East. They have been falling consistently in Scotland since the start of October

UKHSA's surveillance report showed the highest case rates were in people aged 10 to 19 (1,121 per 100,000), five to nine (574 per 100,000) and 40 to 49 (465 per 100,000)

UKHSA’s surveillance report showed the highest case rates were in people aged 10 to 19 (1,121 per 100,000), five to nine (574 per 100,000) and 40 to 49 (465 per 100,000)

Britain’s daily Covid cases hit a three-month high: Infections rise 7% in a week to 42,776 

Covid cases hit a three-month high yesterday and hospital admissions jumped again — but deaths fell.

The Department of Health’s daily update showed there were 42,776 positive tests across the country in the last 24 hours, up by seven per cent on the previous week. 

The figure is the highest recorded since July 21, when 44,104 infections were posted and marks the eighth day in a row of rising cases.

Meanwhile, hospital admissions rose by 10.4 per cent week-on-week to 754, while deaths dropped by five per cent to 136. 

Both measures lag behind case numbers by a few weeks, due to the time it takes for someone to become seriously unwell after catching the virus. 

It comes amid growing fears the fourth wave is just around the corner, with infections now ticking up every age group.

The ZOE Covid Study figures are based on data from nearly 750,000 weekly contributors. 

It estimated the number of daily new cases is now falling in under-18s but remains high across all age groups. There were around 32,000 new cases per day in under-18s last week. 

Cases are now rising steadily in 35- to 55-year-olds and remain low in those aged between 18 and 35 and over-55s.

Covid prevalence is highest highest in Wales, Midlands, North West and North East. They have been falling consistently in Scotland since the start of October.

Around 1,900 people per 100,000 were thought to be infected in Wales as of Monday, compared to fewer than 1,100 in Wales.

Professor Spector said: ‘The UK seems to be slowly waking up to the fact that Covid cases are too high, but the reality is they’ve been soaring for months and many countries have put us on their red list. 

‘Infections remain high in young people, and look to be spilling over into the 35- to 55-year-olds. If these increases creep into the over-55s it could spell disaster for the NHS this winter.

‘This week a major UK Care Home provider has confirmed that based on our research, it’s now including cold-like symptoms on their visitor forms to stop potential Covid cases from entering their facilities. 

‘This is a bold move as it goes against the official government guidance, but will ultimately save lives, and hopefully others will follow suit.’

He added: ‘With cases so high, it’s clear herd immunity isn’t happening, and the risk is most people continue to believe they are safe if they have had Covid  or a vaccine. 

‘ZOE data shows that vaccine protection wanes over time and a natural infection alone only gives 64 per cent protection, so we need to be doing all we can to get everyone double vaccinated and stop waiting for herd immunity to happen through natural infection.’

Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency’s latest surveillance report today showed the number of Covid cases grew by 13 per cent last week. 

The data is based on official testing whereas the King’s College London/ZOE study is derived from symptoms and is more up-to-date. 

Coronavirus cases grew in 127 out of 149 authorities, with the biggest increases seen in West Berkshire (92 per cent), Darlington (57 per cent) and Torbay (50 per cent).

Two areas saw infections fall by more than 20 per cent: Herefordshire (23 per cent) and North Lincolnshire (22 per cent).

Case rates grew in all age groups, with the biggest jumps seen in people aged 70 to 79 (33 per cent), 60 to 69 (32 per cent) and the over 80s (23 per cent).

The highest case rates were in people aged 10 to 19 (1,121 per 100,000), five to nine (574 per 100,000) and 40 to 49 (465 per 100,000).

Dr William Welfare, incident director at the HSA, said: ‘Case rates of Covid remain high across the country and have been slowly rising.

‘As winter approaches, help protect yourself against Covid and flu by washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask in crowded places. When meeting people inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the room.

‘If you are offered a vaccine for either Covid or flu, please take it. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, get a PCR test.’

The figures also show the rate of Covid hospital admissions in England stood at 6.0 per 100,000 people in the week to October 10, up from 5.7.

Admission rates were highest in north-east England, at 10.0 per 100,000 people. The highest admission rates continue to be for those aged 85 and over.



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