Declining Infections

Official: Covid Pandemic Over in Britain

With the ONS reporting today that the number of people infected with COVID-19 in England has fallen to its lowest level since September, researchers at Oxford have said the vaccines are so effective that the UK is no longer in the midst of a pandemic. Sarah Knapton, Science Editor of the Telegraph, has more.

In the first large real-world study of the impact of vaccination on the general population, researchers found that the rollout is having a major impact on cutting both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.

Sarah Walker, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at Oxford and Chief Investigator on the Office for National Statistics COVID-19 Infection Survey, said that Britain had “moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation” where the virus is circulating at a low, largely controllable level in the community.

The new research, based on throat swabs from 373,402 people between December 1st last year and April 3rd, found three weeks after one dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca jab, symptomatic infections fell by 74% and infections without symptoms by 57%.

By two doses, asymptomatic infections were down 70% and symptomatic by 90%.

It comes as infections continue to fall in Britain, dropping 7% in a week, despite the reopening of schools and shops. Deaths have also fallen by 26% and admissions by 19% over the last seven days.

New data from the ONS also showed that Covid was no longer the leading cause of death in March, falling behind dementia and heart disease, for the first time since October.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Just 6% of beds are now taken up by Covid patients at England’s busiest NHS Trust compared to 60% at peak of second wave, an analysis of NHS data by MailOnline shows.

Britain Sees Fastest Decline in Covid Cases in the World

The Spectator has added a new table to its data hub, showing where the current level of Covid infection is in different countries around the world relative to the peak. It shows that Britain has seen the sharpest decline in the developed world, with cases now 97% lower than their peak on January 9th, 2021.

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson writes:

Britain has had one of the worst Covid death tolls in the world: today’s success should be seen in that context. The severity of the spread in UK has left higher recovery immunity even in unvaccinated age groups (almost half of under-25s have antibodies, according to the ONS) which limits the size of any third wave. UCL argues that we’ll hit herd immunity tomorrow: we discuss this in the latest edition of The Spectator’s Coffee House Shots podcast. In general, Covid is back down to (or below) summer levels and almost all of those at risk of fatal infection have been protected.

Worth reading in full.