August 19, 2022

Britain’s Covid wave is constant to fizzle out with every day circumstances, hospital admissions and deaths all nonetheless trending downwards, official information reveals.

There have been one other 31,933 infections recorded over the past 24 hours, down a 3rd on final Friday.

Each day circumstances have constantly fallen for greater than three weeks now, with about 35,000 infections being recorded day-after-day — just like ranges seen in early November earlier than Omicron struck.

There have been additionally one other 120 Covid deaths, a drop of 24 per cent on the identical time final week. And hospitalisations fell 9 per cent after 1,169 admissions had been recorded on February 21, the newest date UK-wide figures can be found for.

It got here as well being chiefs revealed at the moment a extra infectious model of Omicron — scientifically named BA.2 — was now dominant in England. 

However scientists mentioned this was not a trigger for concern as a result of circumstances are nonetheless trending downwards, and there’s no proof that it’s extra harmful or higher at dodging vaccines than Omicron.

Weeks of falling Covid statistics gave Boris Johnson the arrogance to carry the final Covid restrictions, with the authorized requirement to self-isolate ending yesterday after virtually two years. Free Covid exams are additionally set to finish from April 1 amid a drive to avoid wasting £2billion a month from the Treasury, and the contact tracing system is to be wound down. 

The above graph shows that BA.2 - a sub-variant of Omicron - is now behind 52.3 per cent of all Covid cases in England. It is now dominant over old Omicron

The above graph reveals that BA.2 – a sub-variant of Omicron – is now behind 52.3 per cent of all Covid circumstances in England. It’s now dominant over outdated Omicron

UK Well being Safety Company statistics confirmed Covid circumstances dropped throughout all 4 UK nations at the moment, in comparison with the identical time final week.

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The positivity charge — the proportion of exams that choose up the virus — additionally fell barely, additional illustrating how the present Covid wave is receding.

UK’s £5.6bn Covid jabs rollout was ‘good worth’ for cash 

Britain’s Covid vaccination drive was good worth for cash, No10’s public spending watchdog has claimed.

The Nationwide Audit Workplace heaped additional reward on the £5.6bn jabs rollout – including that far fewer doses had been wasted than predicted.

It claimed securing a provide of vaccines early on within the pandemic was ‘essential’ to its success and this helped to ‘save lives and cut back critical sickness and hospitalisation’.

The impartial watchdog warned there have been nonetheless dangers forward for the programme, nevertheless, together with employees burnout.

In a report launched at the moment, protecting a interval as much as the top of October 2021, the NAO mentioned wastage of about 4.7 million doses – 4 per cent of the entire – had been ‘a lot decrease than the programme initially assumed’.

In the meantime, the UKHSA at the moment revealed in its bi-weekly report {that a} extra infectious model of Omicron is now dominant in England.

It mentioned BA.2 was behind 52 per cent of all Covid circumstances within the week to February 20.

However the company added there was no proof that the pressure was extra extreme or higher capable of dodge vaccine-induced immunity than Omicron.

Scientists mentioned at the moment it was not prone to ‘undermine’ the present drop in circumstances seen within the nation.

They pointed to Denmark the place the wave has peaked after BA.2 grew to become dominant, which lifted its Covid restrictions in the beginning of this month.

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The weekly report confirmed BA.2 was behind the very best proportion of circumstances in London (62.9 per cent of Covid circumstances).

It was additionally dominant within the South East (57.1 per cent), East of England (52.6 per cent), North West (51.1 per cent) and West Midlands (50 per cent).

The areas the place it was not dominant had been the East Midlands (49.4 per cent), Yorkshire and the Humber (42.9 per cent), North East (33.1 per cent) and South West (32.7 per cent). 

The UKHSA additionally revealed that Deltacron — a hybrid of Omicron and Delta — was now spreading in England, though in low numbers.

It claimed that 32 circumstances had been noticed because it first emerged on January 7, however solely two of those had been within the newest week information is obtainable. 

A fortnight in the past the UKHSA introduced it might be holding tabs on the hybrid. 

SAGE scientists have warned the mildness of Omicron could also be a ‘likelihood occasion’, and say it’s a ‘widespread false impression’ that viruses develop into weaker extra time.

However different scientists argue that top ranges of immunity within the inhabitants imply no variant will emerge that may set the UK again to the place it was in March 2020. 

The weekly report showed BA.2 was behind the highest proportion of cases in London (62.9 per cent of Covid cases). It was also dominant in the South East (57.1 per cent), East of England (52.6 per cent), North West (51.1 per cent) and West Midlands (50 per cent)

The weekly report confirmed BA.2 was behind the very best proportion of circumstances in London (62.9 per cent of Covid circumstances). It was additionally dominant within the South East (57.1 per cent), East of England (52.6 per cent), North West (51.1 per cent) and West Midlands (50 per cent)

It comes after No10’s public spending watchdog claimed Britain’s Covid vaccination drive was good worth for cash.

The Nationwide Audit Workplace heaped additional reward on the £5.6bn jabs rollout – including that far fewer doses had been wasted than predicted.

It claimed securing a provide of vaccines early on within the pandemic was ‘essential’ to its success and this helped to ‘save lives and cut back critical sickness and hospitalisation’.

The impartial watchdog warned there have been nonetheless dangers forward for the programme, nevertheless, together with employees burnout.

In a report launched at the moment, protecting a interval as much as the top of October 2021, the NAO mentioned wastage of about 4.7 million doses – 4 per cent of the entire – had been ‘a lot decrease than the programme initially assumed’.

The NAO, which solely checked out first and second doses, mentioned the operation had been ‘an efficient use of public cash’.

The report mentioned the programme had value £5.6billion, out of £8.3billion out there over the 2 years to March this yr.

This included £2.9billion buying the jabs from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and different pharmaceutical giants.

Doses value £15.02 every on common, the NAO mentioned, whereas the common value of administering every jab was £25.70.

Nevertheless, it warned that employees burnout might have an effect on supply of jabs to the remaining unvaccinated adults, of which there are 3.7million.

And the NAO known as on ministers to ‘redouble’ efforts to make sure jabs had been out there to those that had not but been vaccinated.