Positive Covid Tests Drop Week-on-Week for 10th Day in a Row

Positive Covid tests fell again today, both compared to yesterday and compared to last Saturday, making it the tenth day in a row reported infections have dropped week-on-week. MailOnline has more.

Covid cases have fallen week-on-week for the tenth day in a row, in another sign of hope as the pandemic appears to be shrinking — but experts warn the drop off could be down to less [sic] people getting tests.  

Department of Health bosses posted 26,144 infections today, down 17.8% on last Saturday’s figure of 31,795.

And the number of people dying with the virus has fallen to 71. The number of victims decreased 17.4% from 86 last Saturday.

The baffled Government scientists, whose gloomy predictions continue not to materialise, have now come up with another reason why positive test reports might be dropping: people are avoiding being tested because they don’t want to self-isolate.

I suppose some will be, with holidays approaching. But the ONS breakdown by age also suggests there’s a difference in the infection rate between people under 16 and over 16, with the latter having peaked while the former had not as of July 24th. That in itself is a bit confusing, as children under 16 don’t live on their own, but it does suggest that some of the drop in positive tests reported by PHE might be because parents have stopped testing their children.

ZOE data has gone weird since it changed its methods 10 days ago, as the below graphs for one local authority area indicate. The ZOE data tracks the PHE positive tests until the last couple of weeks, at which point they do the polar opposite and ZOE surges while PHE plummets. While the ZOE graph is prevalence (current active infections) and the PHE graph is incidence (new daily infections) the comparison is useful as you would still expect correspondence. Is this all because of testing hesitancy? Seems unlikely. I don’t know what the ZOE team did when they updated their method, but their data’s radical divergence now from reported positive tests doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Warwick District

But as I argued yesterday, this is all a distraction really. The bigger picture is that the Delta variant has been revealed to be no reason to remain cautious and the models predicting a massive exit wave have been shown to be unreliable. There is now no excuse not to end the state of emergency, end mass testing, end vaccine apartheid, rescind guidance and return to normal. What are we waiting for?

Stop Press: Worth remembering this howling embarrassment from two weeks ago: “England’s Covid unlocking is threat to world, say 1,200 scientists.

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