Cases are down in every region of England and fewer over-80s are catching the virus than ever before, according to the latest figures from PHE. So why are restrictions not being lifted for another seven weeks? What happened to data not dates? MailOnline has more.
Public Health England’s weekly Covid report found just 6.3 per 100,000 people in the most vulnerable age group caught the disease in the week ending April 25th, the lowest since surveillance data began last June. The infection rate among over-80s peaked at 623 in mid-January.
For over-60s, the rate was 9.1, down from 9.9 the week before and a high of 454 at the peak of the second wave. Both lockdown restrictions and vaccines — which were given to the elderly first — have helped turn the tide on the crisis.
Every English region also saw falls in cases in the past week — despite millions more tests being deployed — with the lowest rates recorded in the South West (14.2), South East (17.2) and the East of England (20.5).
Meanwhile, the Department of Health’s daily update revealed there were 2,445 cases in the past 24 hours and 22 deaths, with infections down 10% from a week ago and deaths up slightly on the 18th last Thursday.
Latest figures show another 462,000 second and 134,000 first vaccine doses were dished out on Tuesday. It means more than 34 million Britons have had at least one dose and 14 million have been fully vaccinated.
Experts said the UK was moving out of the Covid pandemic and into a situation that was much more manageable after separate figures showed the number of people falling ill across Britain is also at a record low.
But despite a plethora of evidence showing the virus is firmly in retreat, England faces at least seven more weeks of restrictions. June 21st has been earmarked as the earliest possible date that most curbs can be lifted.
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