A glimmer of hope as new testing data suggests the latest wave of Covid-19 in the UK may have peaked
There has been a glimmer of hope in new data indicating that the latest UK wave of Covid may have reached its peak.
Thursday saw 39,906 new positive tests – the first time there were fewer cases than on the same day the previous week since May.
On the same day last week, there were 48,553 new cases – the highest daily rise in six months.
Autumn will be explained at least in part by the start of the school holidays, which means that fewer people will take the test.
School students and staff are encouraged to take routine lateral flow tests at home.
This is an 18 per cent reduction, said Professor Paul Hunter, an expert at the University of East Anglia.
The percentage increase on a weekly basis in cases also eased from a peak of 43 percent last Sunday to just 24 percent today.
“But it is still too early to see any effect of Monday’s easing, and some reduction in cases will be due to many children not getting tested regularly now that schools are closed.
“I would caution that this may just be a temporary slowdown in reports before we start seeing a return to exponential growth next weekend as a result of the lifting of restrictions last week.
We’ll start getting an idea next weekend, but it won’t be until August 9th before we know for sure.
“But there are some positive signs.”
Even if cases reach a stabilization stage, hospitalizations and deaths are still expected to rise for two to three weeks.
The daily death toll in the UK within 28 days of testing positive was 84 on Wednesday, up from 49 the week before.
It came on the day King’s College London’s ZOE Covid symptom tracker app estimated its UK R value to be 1.1.
Professor Tim Spector OBE, Chief Scientist for the ZOE COVID Study, said: “Unfortunately, hopes that the current wave of infections has peaked have dashed, as updated ZOE data shows Covid cases continue to rise as the UK lifts most restrictions.
While Covid is less severe among young people and the vaccinated, it certainly isn’t going away any time soon.
“We must not forget the lessons of the pandemic in our rush to return to ‘normality’, as this will only prolong Covid’s grip on our lives.”