Coronavirus infections in England declined again last week despite infections continuing to rise in children, figures from the ONS showed today. MailOnline has more.
Government analysts estimate 2.6 million people in the country were infected on any day during the week ending January 22nd, compared to 2.9 million one week earlier. Both figures equate to one in 20 people in England carrying the virus.
It marks the second week in a row that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has projected a fall in prevalence, illustrating how the Omicron wave fizzled off after causing infections to spiral to pandemic highs.
Cases are now trending downwards in all age groups apart from under-16s, with the return to classrooms earlier this month thought to be behind the trend.
The ONS survey is regarded as the most reliable indicator of the UK’s outbreak because it uses random sampling of around 100,000 people, rather than relying on people coming forward to be tested.
Official daily numbers show cases have plateaued at around 90,000 per day, following a fortnight of infections being in freefall. This was before the effects of lifting Plan B restrictions in England have even been felt.
Work from home guidance was revoked last week, while Covid passes and requirements to wear face masks in public spaces will come to an end tomorrow. Boris Johnson has also said he wants the self-isolation rules to be ditched by the end of March as part of the UK’s plan to ‘live with the virus’ like flu.
The report, used by ministers to guide Covid policy, is normally published on Friday – but its release was moved while infections run at unprecedented levels.
The ONS said the proportion of children aged two to 11 in England who were infected increased for a second week in a row, while cases among 12 to 16-year-olds are now also on the rise.
However, infections among all other age groups are still declining, according to the statisticians.
All parts of England are seeing a drop in case rates, apart from the South West, where the trend in cases is uncertain, the ONS said.
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