Cases of coronavirus have started to decline in England but must fall faster to relieve pressure on the NHS, scientists behind a Covid infection survey have warned. Researchers at Imperial College London analysed more than 160,000 swabs taken between 6 and 22 January and found that while cases fell nationally in the past week the rate was not dropping swiftly enough to reduce strain on the health service. “We are definitely heartened that we are now seeing what looks like a decline in the last week of our survey,” said Paul Elliott, professor of epidemiology and public health medicine at Imperial. “But we really need to get prevalence down more quickly because the pressure on the NHS is very extreme right now.” An interim report from Imperial’s React-1 study, published last week, showed that coronavirus cases in England were stable and potentially even rising between 6 and 15 January. But an updated report released on Thursday added swabs for the week until 22 January and showed cases finally starting to decline. The findings will come as a relief to public health authorities, which are desperate to see firm evidence that the lockdown is driving down infection rates despite the emergence… Read full this story
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