A doctor monitors a Covid-19 patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit of the community hospital in Germany on April 28, 2021.
RONNY HARTMANN | AFP | Getty Images
LONDON — The UK has held the unenviable title of having one of the worst Covid-19 rates in the world, with cases skyrocketing in recent months.
But his fortune seems to be changing.
Less than a month ago, the UK registered between 40,000 and 50,000 new cases every day, sparking dire warnings from experts and officials about increasing pressure on hospitals and excess deaths.
On October 20, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned that the number of Covid cases could rise to 100,000 a day over the winter and doctors said the National Health Service was heading for a crisis, with staff exhausted and overworked.
To potentially make matters worse, public health experts warned they were monitoring a mutation of the already highly contagious delta variant that could make Covid even more virulent.
But the latest data from the UK shows the country could recover from the latest wave of cases, with experts saying Britain just saw the biggest weekly drop in new Covid cases in 2021.
Biggest weekly drop this year
Government data shows that while the number of Covid cases in the UK remains high – and alarmingly high for many people – the data appears to be improving.
On Wednesday, the UK registered 39,329 new Covid cases and a total of just over 237,000 Covid cases have been reported in the past seven days. While it’s a large number, the latest seven-day figure is down nearly 15% from the previous seven-day period from October 28 to November 3.
According to the average incidence figures from the ZOE COVID study, which collects and analyzes Covid testing data in the UK, there are currently 72,546 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid.
This represents an 18% drop from 88,592 new daily cases last week, the study said, adding that there was a sharp drop in the number of cases among most age groups.
“The number of daily new cases continues to show a sharp decline in the number of cases among 0-18 year olds, driving both the initial increases and the recent decrease in the total number of cases. The number of cases among 20-29 age group is still increasing, but the number of cases in the 35-55 age group is starting to decrease. The number of cases among the over-55s is leveling out.”
The lead scientist of the ZOE COVID study, Professor Tim Spector, said the data was positive but needed to be kept in perspective. He also urged eligible members of the public to take advantage of the booster shot range, which experts believe will also help reduce the number of cases in the UK.
“This drop in cases is the largest weekly drop we’ve seen all year and is caused by a continued decline in the number of cases among children over the past two weeks. However, the number of cases is still high and, worryingly, we are still seeing high death rates as Covid takes up up to 8% of hospital beds,” he said on Thursday.
Spector said that as we move into the colder months, “we’re seeing a lot of illness in the population with widespread cold outbreaks and still high levels of Covid” and it’s been tricky to tell the difference between the two as both have similar levels. Symptoms (Cases in vaccinated people tend to be milder and include symptoms such as sneezing, headache, and a runny nose, similar to the common cold.)
The bright spot of Europe?
For much of the pandemic, the UK has been a dark spot in Europe’s pandemic and it has the eighth highest death toll from Covid in the world, with 142,533 deaths to date, government data shows.
The UK has also recorded more than 9.4 million Covid cases to date, having suffered two strong waves of the pandemic resulting from the alpha and delta variants.
The bold authorization and roll-out of Covid vaccines in the UK has attracted praise (it was one of the first countries in the world to roll out vaccines in December 2020), but the immunization action slowed down in the summer of this year and is now in some of the his neighbors fell behind. the continent. To date, 79.8% of the UK population over the age of 12 has been fully vaccinated.
In the neighboring Netherlands, a pandemic advisory panel recommended imposing the first partial lockdown in Western Europe since the summer, pressuring the Dutch government to take action to curb rising Covid cases. The cabinet under outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte is expected to make a decision on Friday about the measures to be taken.
Read more: WHO warns Europe is once again at the epicenter of the Covid pandemic
In the warmer regions of Italy and Spain, cases are also starting to rise, but at lower levels, with officials in both countries looking to stave off another wave of infections as winter approaches.