Health & Fitness Britain records 2,613 more coronavirus cases and 13 deaths
Flu and pneumonia are now killing almost as many people as Covid
Office for National Statistics data showed 275 deaths had Covid listed as the underlying causes. For flu and pneumonia, there were 265 that fitted this category.Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis showed the illnesses were listed as the underlying cause of death for 265 victims in England and Wales in the week ending April 16.
Britain today confirmed 2,613 Covid cases and 13 deaths, as an array of studies showed the number of people getting sick with the virus is continuing to fall.
Official testing sites picked up slightly more positive results than last Thursday – a 6.9 per cent rise on the 2,445 – but the daily death toll fell by 41 per cent on a week ago, when it was 22.
Another 404,226 people got their second vaccine dose yesterday, with another 139,097 being given the first jab. This means 16.3million people are now fully immunised and a further 34.9m have been given one.
Vaccines and lockdown are working so well tumbling hospital admissions mean hospitals can close their surplus intensive care wards set up especially for Covid patients, one leading medic claimed today.
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CDC Director Dr Rochelle Walensky signaled on Friday that the agency will consider revising its death toll after reviewing a University of Washington report estimated there have been 905K fatalities.The analysis by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) pegs the global death toll at nearly 6.9 million and the U.S. count at more than 900,000.
Dr Rupert Pearse, from the Intensive Care Society, said: 'Obviously it varies around the UK, but colleagues across the country tell me most surge ICUs have now closed. The surge area at my hospital is still open but only has a handful of patients. There are less than 10 patients [now] and at one point we had more than 150, so that gives you an idea of the scale.'
The figures come after the weekly Covid Symptom Study showed that fewer Britons are getting ill each day than at any point since the study began last year, with fewer than 1,000 cases now cropping up daily.
Published figures estimating 971 cases per day are now lower than in July and August last year whenrules were almost completely lifted even though no-one was vaccinated.
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Using reports from a million users of a mobile app, the study suggested the number of new cases per day had dropped another seven per cent in a week following a 10 per cent fall the week before. It adds to overwhelming evidence thathas all but disappeared in Britain.
'Data continues to suggest Covid has stabilised at very low levels, similar to rates seen last summer,' said Professor Tim Spector, the King's College epidemiologist who runs the study.
In England the number of people developing symptoms each day remained the same as last week's estimate at 756.
But data from both Public Health England and NHS Test & Trace showed the number of cases being spotted is still falling.
PHE's weekly surveillance report showed infection rates have dropped in every region except the North West, and in every age group except five to nine year olds. Outbreaks are still shrinking in three quarters of local authorities, data also showed.
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Analysts at Washington University estimate the disease has caused about 6.9million deaths globally - as opposed to the 3.2m declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). They warned that low testing numbers and weak healthcare systems in developing countries were partly behind the skewed statistics.But a large amount of the under-reporting has occurred in Western countries which suffered huge epidemics, including the UK, US and Italy, according to the study.It said this is mostly because of a lack of testing at the start of the pandemic, when many Covid patients died without confirmation of the disease.
And statistics from the official testing programme show cases fell by eight per cent in the most recent week, even though near-record numbers of tests are being carried out. Test and Trace spotted 15,593 positive results between April 22 and 28, down from 17,033 the week before.
Businesses and MPs have called for Boris Johnson to loosen lockdown rules sooner because the lockdown and jab rollout have been such a success, warning of another lost summer if there are delays, but the PM is refusing to budge.
The Covid Symptom Study is based on members of the public's self-reported symptoms, test results and vaccinations that come through an app run by healthtech company ZOE.
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It estimates that one in every 4,276 people across the UK has symptomatic Covid on any given day – around 15,669 people – and suggests the R rate is around one, meaning the outbreak is not clearly growing or shrinking.
COVID NOW ACCOUNTS FOR ONE IN 38 DEATHS
More people are now dying from flu and pneumonia than Covid in England and Wales for the first time since the second wave took off, official figures revealed today.
Office for National Statistics data showed the virus was mentioned on 260 death certificates that occurred in the week ending April 23 — down 30 per cent on the week before.
But Covid was only listed as the underlying cause for 176 of the victims. For comparison, flu and pneumonia was behind 278 deaths in the same seven-day spell but mentioned on 1,203 certificates.
Covid was the leading cause of death during the second wave, claiming more than 1,000 lives a day at the peak of the crisis in January.
Experts said a successful vaccine roll-out forcing down Covid deaths, combined with more mixing leading to a resurgence in pneumonia-causing infections was behind the trend.
ONS figures showed Covid only made up 2.6 per cent of all fatalities recorded in England and Wales two weeks ago, compared to more than 40 per cent at the peak of the second wave.
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More than half of American adults have now had at least their first dose of coronavirus vaccine, and there are promising signs the shots are working: Declining deaths over the past two weeks.The seven-day rolling average of fatalities has fallen by a quarter to 737 compared to seven days ago when 987 people were dying a day. There were 477 deaths on Monday, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
Three out of nine regions in England — North East, East Midlands and the South West — went at least one day without a single Covid fatality occurring over the latest week.
The researchers said they saw 31 vaccinated people who got coronavirus after two doses of a jab and 87 after a single dose, out of a total of 4,449 test results over the course of a week.
They suggested the risk of getting infected after being fully vaccinated was around three times lower than in an unvaccinated person and that only one in 167,000 people were likely to experience it at current levels.
Professor Spector said: 'ZOE’s data continues to suggest that the UK is entering an endemic phase as Covid has stabilised at very low levels, similar to rates seen last summer.
'Such low rates are forcing all studies to examine their data collection methods, but reassuringly the ZOE figures follow the trends seen in official confirmed cases.
'With most adults now vaccinated in the UK, we're seeing a milder form of COVID emerge with less than one third of people experiencing classic symptoms in the first week of the disease.
'Even if people are vaccinated, they should be aware there are more than 20 symptoms of Covid, many of them mild and that they can get a test after logging these symptoms in the ZOE app.'
The Test & Trace report added that huge amounts of people are taking rapid tests without symptoms to try and reduce their risk of transmitting the virus by accident.
Just over 5.6million lateral flow tests were conducted in England in the week to April 28, down slightly from 5.8million in the previous week.
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The CDC predicts Covid-19 cases in America to drop in the coming weeks. The vaccine is being credited with the falling case rate, though some areas are struggling to get people vaccinated.In forecasts published this week, the agency projected.four straight weeks of declining cases, ending with as low as 38,000 cases in the week ending in June 19, representing a 75% decline compared to to around 150,000 over the past seven days.
The number of lateral flow tests peaked at just over 7.6million in the week to March 17, which coincided with the return of secondary students to school.
Since April 9, everyone in England has been eligible for rapid Covid tests twice a week.
By contrast, 960,867 lab-based PCR tests – the higher quality ones reserved for people with symptoms – were conducted in the week to April 28.
The numbers add to growing evidence that coronavirus is under control and vaccines have started to keep down infections, hospital admissions and deaths after they were slashed by January's drastic lockdown.
PHE's weekly report showed infection rates fell in every region except the North West, where it ticked up slightly from 24.1 cases per 100,000 people to 24.9.
Yorkshire and the Humber's outbreak is still the biggest (41.7) — but has been dropping for almost two months.
When the data is broken down to a more granular level, it revealed outbreaks were shrinking in 112 of 149 local authorities.
West Berkshire saw the biggest spike in cases (14.52 to 29.03), followed by Bolton (47.3 to 83.46), Blackburn with Darwen (35.41 to 52.77), Herefordshire (23.34 to 33.71) and Bedford (27.7 to 39.82).
Figures breaking down Covid rates among different age groups showed the only slight spike was among five to nine year olds (14.7 to 16.1). The infection rate in over-80s has never been lower (4.8).
MPs, businesses and pubs and restaurants have called for lockdown to end sooner and even 'Professor Lockdown' Neil Ferguson is now optimistic that vaccines will squash the UK's third wave of coronavirus and life in Britain will 'feel a lot more normal by the summer'.
Professor Ferguson, the SAGE adviser and Imperial College London epidemiologist whose grim death toll predictions led Britain into its first lockdown last year, said this week that he expects jabs to help keep the UK out of lockdown for good.
He said on BBC Radio 4 this week: 'Data on the vaccines is getting ever more encouraging, particularly when you get new data that was released just over a week ago which showed even if you do get infected [after having a vaccine] you are less infectious.
'So that’s pushed our estimates of the scale of any autumn wave down.'
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The vaccination campaign and the fall in transmission due to social restrictions has brought the number of victims down, but experts insist that caution is still needed if the situation is to continue to improveWhile delays to reporting from the regions could still alter this data, the figures for the following week confirm the trend, and according to Wednesday’s provisional figures from the Health Ministry covering the previous seven days, the improvement in the fatality rate has been consolidated: the vaccination campaign and the fall in transmission due to social restrictions have brought the number of victims down.