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Coronavirus infections ‘a sixth of January peak’

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Coronavirus cases are down to less than a sixth of the January peak, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS said infections were “likely level” in England and Northern Ireland in the week up to 3 April, but decreasing in Scotland and Wales.

Overall just under 0.3% of the population – one in 350 people – tested positive.

The R number for England is now estimated to be between 0.8-1.

On Friday, the UK reported the largest number of second vaccine doses in a single day at 449,269 – with 96,242 first doses also administered.

There were a further 3,150 confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and another 60 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

The government’s scientific advisers, Sage, said they were not producing a UK-wide estimate of R because of the “increasingly localised approaches” meant UK-level estimates “may not accurately reflect the current picture of the epidemic”.

The ONS suggests that in England, about one person in 340 tested positive in the week to 3 April.

In Northern Ireland, it was one in 300, in Scotland one in 410 and in Wales one in 800.

Across the UK as a whole, the study suggests that levels are similar to those seen in late September last year.

UK virus levels stable in recent weeks

The REACT study, which also swabs people selected at random, suggested earlier this week that infections were levelling off, but suggested that the vaccination program is breaking the link between Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

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Data for the most recent days may be revised upwards as new test results are received

What do these charts show?

Cases are people who have tested positive for coronavirus. Public health bodies may occasionally revise their case numbers. Case rate by age only available for England. *The “average area” means the middle ranking council or local government district when ranked by cases per 100,000 people.
The case rate chart shows how many people have tested positive each day for every 100,000 people in that area. The dark blue line shows the average daily rate over the past seven days. This average helps to show whether cases are rising or falling. The case rate by age chart shows how many people have tested positive in each age group per 100,000 people. Steeper rises in older age groups are of more concern because older people are more likely to be badly affected by the virus and are more likely to need hospital care. The case rate by age shows a rate. This means the values for the two age groups cannot be added together to get the overall case rate in each area.
Source: UK public health bodies – updated weekdays.

Vaccines are data for first doses. England and Scotland data is by local authority, Wales is by health board area, Northern Ireland is national data. The percentages of people vaccinated is calculated using the most recent mid-year population estimates published by the Office for National Statistics. The actual size of the population in each area may differ and so the percentages are also estimates.
Source: NHS England, Public Health Wales, Public Health Scotland, gov.uk dashboard, Office for National statistics. England and Wales updated weekly. Scotland and Northern Ireland updated weekdays

Deaths are where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The chart shows the number of deaths recorded each week per 100,000 people in that area. Covid deaths are in red, other deaths are in grey. The average is the monthly average of deaths in the last five years between 2014-2019. This average will continue to be used in 2021. Recording of deaths over Christmas and New Year was affected by the bank holidays – trends should be treated with caution.
Source: ONS, NRS and NISRA – data updated weekly.

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