Britain's daily Covid cases fall 40% in a week with 2,762 infections

Britain’s daily Covid cases fall by 40% in a week with 2,762 infections – while deaths are up slightly to 26

  • Department of Health officials posted another 2,762 positive tests and 26 laboratory-confirmed fatalities
  • For comparison, 4,654 coronavirus infections and 23 deaths were recorded across Britain last Monday
  • Day-to-day figures fluctuate and the overall trend in deaths is still hurtling downwards thanks to lockdowns 

Britain’s daily Covid cases were down 40 per cent today on last week while deaths have risen slightly, official figures revealed.

Department of Health officials posted another 2,762 positive tests and 26 laboratory-confirmed fatalities. For comparison, 4,654 infections and 23 deaths were recorded last Monday. 

Day-to-day figures fluctuate, however, and the overall trend is still hurtling downwards thanks to lockdowns and the UK’s successful vaccine roll-out, which has now seen almost 31.6million Britons get jabbed. 

Both infections and deaths figures over Easter are expected to be lower because of incomplete data and a longer-than-usual reporting lag due to the four-day bank holiday weekend. 

The figures come ahead of Boris Johnson’s Downing St press conference tonight, with the Prime Minister set to confirm England’s next stage of lockdown-easing is on schedule – with shops, gyms and hairdressers allowed to reopen from next week.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will also be given the green light to return for outdoor customers. The premier is also set to give a hint on the way forward for foreign holidays, with a ‘traffic light’ system expected to be introduced for destinations when the blanket ban on travel is dropped – potentially from May 17.

And Mr Johnson will give a ‘high level’ indication of the government’s plan for coronavirus passports, with pilots being held to try to get crowds back at sporting and other events.

The PM will likely face questions about No10’s controversial plan to offer everyone two coronavirus tests a week. Top experts have called the plan – which relies on rapid lateral flow tests – a ‘public health disaster’ and ‘beyond reckless’ because of concerns about their inaccuracy. 

Life will not go back to normal this summer even if Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown goes to plan, the Government’s top scientific advisers warned today.

Senior SAGE sources said that while the vaccines prevent the vast majority of people from falling ill and dying from coronavirus, they ‘are not good enough’ to see all social curbs lifted ‘without a big epidemic’.  

All legal limits on social contact were to be abolished by June 21 as part of the final stage of the Prime Minister’s four-step route out of the crisis. It was hoped that festivals, sports events and nightclubs would reopen and that families and friends could reunite in large numbers after that date for the first time since winter 2020.

However, No10’s experts claimed today that ‘baseline measures’, including some form of social distancing and masks, would need to remain in place until this time next year. They said they are ‘reasonably confident’ that coronavirus will be manageable by then. 

The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines reduce Covid deaths by about 90 per cent, but there are fears high infection rates could see the virus spill into the small number of vulnerable people who haven’t been jabbed or for whom the vaccines don’t work.  

Despite the pessimistic comments, Mr Johnson is set to announce the country is on track for the second stage of his lockdown easing plans on April 12, which will see shops, gyms, hairdressers and beer gardens reopen again. 

Cases and deaths are their lowest levels in six months and more than half of the adult population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of the jabs. 

Papers released by SAGE today show the expert group believe the April 12 phase could cause a rise in infections, but they said it is ‘highly unlikely to put unsustainable pressure on the NHS’.

In other developments today, the Government’s top scientific advisers warned life will not go back to normal this summer even if Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown goes to plan.

Senior SAGE sources said that while vaccines prevent the vast majority of people from falling ill and dying from coronavirus, they ‘are not good enough’ to see all social curbs lifted ‘without a big epidemic’.  

All legal limits on social contact were to be abolished by June 21 as part of the final stage of the Prime Minister’s four-step route out of the crisis. It was hoped that festivals, sports events and nightclubs would reopen and that families and friends could reunite in large numbers after that date for the first time since winter 2020.

However, No10’s experts claimed today that ‘baseline measures’, including some form of social distancing and masks, would need to remain in place until this time next year. They said they are ‘reasonably confident’ that coronavirus will be manageable by then. 

The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines reduce Covid deaths by about 90 per cent, but there are fears high infection rates could see the virus spill into the small number of vulnerable people who haven’t been jabbed or for whom the vaccines don’t work.  

Despite the pessimistic comments, Mr Johnson is set to announce the country is on track for the second stage of his lockdown easing plans on April 12, which will see shops, gyms, hairdressers and beer gardens reopen again. 

Cases and deaths are their lowest levels in six months and more than half of the adult population has been vaccinated with at least one dose of the jabs. 

Papers released by SAGE today show the expert group believe the April 12 phase could cause a rise in infections, but they said it is ‘highly unlikely to put unsustainable pressure on the NHS’.

It comes as Matt Hancock faced backlash today after he claimed a multi-billion pound plan to test everyone for coronavirus twice a week is the only way ‘back to normality’ – despite fears a surge in ‘false positives’ could actually derail the lockdown easing.

The PM and Health Secretary have announced a huge expansion of testing with free rapid kits made available to everyone in England from this Friday.

Mr Hancock said: ‘Reclaiming our lost freedoms & getting back to normal hinges on us all getting tested regularly.’

But concerns were immediately raised as when used on that scale the tests could wrongly label tens of thousands of people a week as having Covid – muddying the water over whether the disease is making a comeback.

Those individuals would also be forced to isolate and get more reliable PCR checks to show they are clear.

Tories pointed out that vaccines have been billed as the key to returning to normal, saying it was another example of ministers ‘moving the goalposts’.

Source: Read Full Article