London: The next fortnight will be “crucial” in understanding whether the UK’s third wave of coronavirus is slowing down, or whether the slightly lower case rates of the past few days merely represent another “false peak”, an epidemiologist has said.
For six consecutive days, there have been fewer new daily Covid cases than the 54,674 seen last Saturday. But Professor Adam Kucharski warned these remain “early signs”, and said the impact of so-called Freedom Day has not yet shown up in the data.
Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has called for an “urgent rethink” of the government’s Covid strategy in favour of “more stringent infection control measures”, as it blamed “rocketing case numbers” – rather than “excessive pinging” of the NHS Covid app – for worker shortages.
With industry leaders warning that England could face a summer of venue closures, travel disruption and food supply woes, pressure is growing on Boris Johnson to bring forward plans to exempt double-vaccinated people from self-isolation requirements as of 16 August.
Northern Ireland has reported a further 1,520 new coronavirus cases and one death.
There were 163 Covid-positive patients in hospital on Saturday morning, with 16 in intensive care, the Department of Health said.
With Russia reporting nearly 24,000 coronavirus infections and a repeat all-time high in the number of daily deaths, at 799, some officials are suggesting the country’s Delta-fuelled third wave – particularly in Moscow – may have peaked.
The country’s coronavirus task force confirmed 23,947 new infections across the country in the last 24 hours, down around 5 per cent on the previous week. In Moscow, 3,376 new cases were reported, down 26 per cent.
“On the whole, we can see that there is a decrease in the incidence of disease,” Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin was quoted as saying by state news agency, Tass. “This, of course, is positive, it means that we have passed these peaks, and I hope that there will be further improvement.” The Independent