Covid cases plummet by THIRD in a week as deaths tail off and expert says 'darkest days are behind us'

COVID cases have plummeted by a third in a just a week as deaths continue to tail off, new data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker App has revealed.

One expert today claimed that the darkest days of the pandemic could be behind us after data showed that infections of Covid-19 have plummeted by 92 per cent since the peak in January.

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At present there are 5,494 new cases of the virus each day, a drop of 32 per cent from 8,111 last week.

The experts state that on average one in 613 people in the UK has symptomatic Covid and the professor who heads up the study is hopeful that the worst is behind us.

Professor Tim Spector said the UK has come a long way since the start of the year.

"It’s great to see new case rates falling to levels that are among the lowest in Europe."

He hailed the vaccine push in the UK, as over 23 million people have now been given a first dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab or the Pfizer/BioNTech offering with more than 1.3 million having had a second.

He added: "With deaths and admissions falling at similar speeds, I believe we can be hopeful the darkest days are behind us.

"The data shows regional changes appearing with lower rates in the South."

 

Data from the app shows that the highest daily case rates in England are in the North West, where an average of 811 cases are being reported on a daily basis.

It's followed by the East Midlands with 706 daily cases, London on 581 cases and the South East with 571.

Yorkshire and The Humber has 556 daily cases, the West Midlands has 450, the east of England has 345 whilethe North East has 298.

The area with the lowest daily cases is the South West with 250.

Prof Spector added that the experts will continue to monitor all regions and symptoms – particularly as schools have now reopened.

He also highlighted that the app data predicts that the R rate is currently at 0.8 in England.

The R rate prediction from the experts at the ZOE app are different from Sage estimates which are released every Friday afternoon.

Last week Sage stated that the R rate was between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK.

It did however state that it could be as high as 1 in Yorkshire and The North East.

Prof Spector's comments echo that of Public Health England chief Dr Yvonne Doyle who said Covid-19 is in retreat as cases fell in all regions in England in the last week.

She urged Brits to take the vaccine when they are offered it and said that it was high vaccine uptake as well as the adherence to stay at homes rules that have helped infection levels fall.

Dr Doyle said: "The last thing we want now is for rates, deaths and hospitalisations to go back up.

"We are still in a precarious situation and it would not take much for a dangerous new wave to take off.

"So even if you have had the vaccine, keep contacts to a minimum, keep your distance and keep washing your hands regularly and thoroughly.”

The data from the ZOE app comes as it was yesterday revealed that UK Covid deaths have dropped a third in a month.

 

A further 181 people were recorded to have died after battling the virus – a drop of 73 per cent on this time last month, when 678 people died.

Meanwhile, a further 6,753 people tested positive – a drop of 50 per cent on February 11, when 13,494 people were newly diagnosed.

In hospitals in England, a further 159 people lost their lives to the virus. The casualties were aged between 35 and 99, and all but 11, who were aged 64 to 91, had known underlying health conditions.

Nine more people died in Northern Ireland, while 22 further deaths were recorded in Scotland and 12 in Wales.

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