More proof the worst of the second Covid wave has passed emerged today as Test and Trace data showed cases fell by a quarter last week and separate figures revealed infections dropped in every region and age group.
With all key metrics now indicating England is well past the peak, pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to ease lockdown drastically when he announces his ‘route map’ out of the shutdown on February 22.
Meanwhile, Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report showed Covid cases are continuing to fall in every English region and among every age group.
The West Midlands has the highest rate at 237.6 per 100,000 people, down from 326.8 in the previous week. The South West has the lowest rate at 120.3, falling from 176.5.
Infections are highest among 30 to 39-year-olds, the figures show, at 265.3 cases per 100,000 people. For people aged 80 and over, who are most at risk of dying from the virus, the rate fell from 294.6 to 200.5.
PHE’s report also found 145 out of 149 local authorities (97 per cent) recorded a drop in the weekly rate of coronavirus cases and one area remained unchanged in the seven days to February 7.
Rutland in the East Midlands saw the largest increase with infection rates doubling to 463 per 100,000, while Calderdale in West Yorkshire reported a 17 per cent rise to 192.
Rutland’s outbreak is thought to be being partly fuelled by an outbreak of the disease among prisoners at HMP Stocken, believed to have accounted for around half of all cases in its county area.
Middlesbrough recorded a slight uptick of 5 per cent, taking its rate to 373 per 100,000 and there was a 3 per cent increase in Bolton, where the rate rose to 283.
East Sussex saw the biggest drop in infection rates, followed by the London borough of Haringey, the Isle of Wight and Thurrock in Essex.