Covid cases in the UK have dropped for a fifth day in a row, official figures revealed today. Another 35,077 positive tests were recorded across Britain, down 7.6 per cent on last Monday.
The Daily Mail
Mon, 04 Oct 202
The decline follows nearly two weeks of rising infections, fuelled by millions of pupils returning to classrooms last month.
Meanwhile, 33 deaths were registered among people who tested positive for the virus in the last 28 days. It marks a week-on-week drop of 17.5 per cent. No Covid hospitalisation figures were provided for the UK as a whole — but that trend has also been falling.
The fatality figure lags several weeks behind infections because of how long it can take for infected patients to become seriously ill.
However, the Department of Health warned it did not receive all of the death data for England, which will have a ‘small impact’ on the number of fatalities reported today.
Meanwhile, some 48.9million people in the UK have now had their first dose of a Covid vaccine, while 44.9million are fully immunised.
But officials have yet to reveal how many boosters have been dished out to over-50s, NHS and care home staff or vulnerable people, as well as the number of 12 to 15-year-olds who have been given their first dose.
The rollout to these groups began last month and are a key part of the Government’s strategy to suppress a fourth wave this autumn and winter that could overwhelm the NHS.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, some 7.9million people have tested positive for the virus, while 136,986 have died within four weeks of testing positive.
England recorded 28,251 new infections, 1,760 cases were confirmed in Scotland, while 3,986 were spotted in Wales and 1,080 in Northern Ireland.
Cases are relatively flat in England and Northern Ireland, while they are falling in Scotland and Wales.
Infections are highest among 10 to 14-year-olds in England, with 1,520 testing positive per 100,000 on September 29, while 644 youngsters aged 15 to 19 per 100,000 – the second most-infectious cohort – had the virus.
It comes as Government statisticians today declared just nine people in Britain have died directly from a Covid vaccine, in an attempt to squash concerns about the jabs.
The Office for National Statistics counted fatalities confirmed by either a doctor or coroner, who have to certify the cause to the ‘best of their knowledge or belief’.
For deaths where a vaccine is suspected of being one of the contributing causes of death, a lengthy investigation has to be carried out.
The ONS admitted its figure — made up of four deaths in England, four in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland — is bound to rise as more go through this process over the coming months.
But scientists today questioned the number, which does not yet take into account dozens of deaths linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine and rare blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK’s drugs watchdog, says there have been 72 deaths from clots after that jab alone.
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist from Warwick University, said the ONS’ figure seemed ‘too low, given the information from the MHRA’.
He told MailOnline it ‘highlights the need for more detailed investigation to reconcile these different estimates’.
The Government credits AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna’s jabs with saving 112,000 lives and averting 24million Covid infections.
Rigorous trials have shown the vaccines to be completely safe for the vast majority of people, including children.
But there is a very small risk of side effects, which in an even smaller number of patients can be deadly.
Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines have been linked to heart inflammation known as myocarditis, particularly in young people.
Britain’s medicines regulator says myocarditis has occurred in about one in 135,000 Britons given an mRNA vaccine. Most cases are mild and treatable within a few days but the condition is known to be more common in children and young adults, affecting about one in 10,000. The long-term effects of this heart inflammation are still not known.
AstraZeneca’s jab, which relies on more traditional technology to the other two vaccines, is associated with blood clots.