COVID-19, News & Updates

Even with the COVID-19 vaccine’s success, infection still increases in the U.K.

The national number of COVID-19 cases fell by two-thirds but rose slightly in London, the South East, East Midlands, and West Midlands.

The number of coronavirus infections has begun to rise again in areas of most regions in England even though almost 15 million people in the country have received their first vaccine dose, a study has found.

On average, infections have remained to fall across England, but the speed at which they have lost may have slowed, the final results of Imperial College London’s REACT-1 survey reveals. The pattern of change across the country is not uniform, and there is evidence that infections may be increasing in several places, experts said.

Approximately 165,456 volunteers were tested in England between February 4 and 23 as part of one of the most extensive Covid-19 studies. Infections fell by two-thirds from the last REACT report in January, with 1 in 204 people infected.

The number of COVID-19 cases fell by two-thirds from 1.57 percent to 0.49 percent or 49 per 10,000 people infected, compared to the last REACT report from January 6-22. There has been no change in prevalence in Yorkshire, and The Humber and prevalence have risen slightly in London, the South East, East Midlands, and West Midlands but has fallen in all other regions.

The COVID-19 cases were higher among those who worked in education, school, nursery, or childcare at 0.73 percent compared to 0.46 percent in those who did not. It was highest among Pakistani participants at 2.1 percent compared to white participants at 0.45 percent and Black participants at 0.83 percent.

Scientists said it was encouraging to see coronavirus infection rates falling for England as a whole but worrying that high infection levels across the country remain.

Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, stated that,

“The large drops in infection numbers seen in January and February have begun to slow, despite the increasing number of people who’ve been vaccinated. Worryingly, despite the vaccination program, the numbers of infections have begun to go back up again in pockets of most English regions and the prevalence of infection in London and the South East is increasing.”

Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, stated that,

“In a way, these differences between places are not surprising, since the pandemic has changed at different rates in different places right since it first began, but I can’t deny that it’s a bit discouraging to see some evidence of increases even as the overall trend continues downwards.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock cited: “There is some cause for concern that our hard-won progress may be slowing down, and even reversing in some regions so it is important we remain vigilant – this is on all of us.”

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