Britain’s Covid outbreak continues to shrink and is now at levels not seen since September: UK records 12,057 more cases and 454 deaths – as data shows infections have fallen in all but TWO areas of England
- Coronavirus cases were down 10.6 per cent on last Thursday, and deaths had dropped by 33 per cent
- Separate data from Public Health England showed school children’s infection rate was at September levels
- It also showed 147 of 149 councils – or 98 per cent – saw falls in their cases in the second week of February
- Only North East Lincolnshire and Tameside, in Greater Manchester, saw a surge in cases, latest data showed
- Further data from Test and Trace showed there were 106,474 new cases in the week to February 10
- This is the same levels as October with cases only lower in mid-October when 96,601 infections identified
- Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to start easing some restrictions from anti-lockdown Tory MPs
PUBLISHED: 15:16, 18 February 2021 | UPDATED: 20:11, 18 February 2021
Britain’s coronavirus outbreak has plummeted to its lowest levels since September — before the second wave spiralled out of control, official data revealed today.
Department of Health bosses recorded 12,057 new infections, marking a 10.6 per cent drop from last Thursday. Another 454 deaths were also announced, a 33 per cent fall on last week.
Separate Public Health England figures revealed cases among school-age children have plunged to their lowest levels in five months. Around 86 cases were recorded per 100,000 10 to 19 year olds in the week ending February 14 — the lowest rate since September.
And in another sign the second wave is firmly in retreat, statistics showed Covid outbreaks shrunk in all but two local authorities in England last week. Only North East Lincolnshire and Tameside — out of 149 councils — saw a drop in infection rates.
The South East and South West also became the first regions to see their weekly infection rates drop below 100 cases per 100,000 since October.
Test and Trace data also revealed infections had plummeted by 30 per cent to their lowest levels since October. They recorded 106,474 new cases in the week to February 11, far below the more than 300,000 patients a week during the darkest days of January.
The encouraging fall in cases comes as Boris Johnson faces growing clamour for a speedier lifting of lockdown measures. The PM is set to unveil his ‘roadmap’ back to normality on Monday, with his ‘prudent’ approach set to make pubs and restaurants among the last places to reopen.
Business chiefs and politicians have demanded an accelerated timeframe to save firms from collapse, amid fears that restrictions might last for months, citing the success of the vaccine rollout and significant falls in deaths and infections. Even one of No10’s scientific advisers yesterday said the data was ‘pointing in the right direction’ for some brutal curbs on daily freedoms to be eased soon.
Despite swathes of data showing the worst of the second wave is now behind Britain, Sadiq Khan today called for ministers to reject calls for a swift easing of national curbs. London’s mayor urged the PM to ignore ‘shouting and hectoring’ from Conservative backbenchers as he prepares to unveil his exit roadmap.
However, there are hints that Britain’s outbreak may no longer be falling as quickly. A symptom-tracking app has even claimed infections are rising in parts of the UK. Any turn in the trend could be devastating now, with the Government inching closer to finally lifting lockdown for good. But doctors and scientists say they want infection and hospital numbers as close to zero as possible before draconian restrictions end.