Covid cases slowing in every region except one – as experts say July 19 must go ahead

COVID cases appear to be slowing in every region except the South East.

It comes as experts say the data looks good for July 19's lockdown lift to go ahead.

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Public Health England figures show London and the South West have seen the biggest slow in infections this week.

The South East is the only area that appears to be growing in case rates.

But otherwise scientists say the picture looks good to press on with Freedom Day – as evidence shows the Delta variant can be stopped without largescale lockdowns.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline: "I can't see any reason why July 19 shouldn't be the end of lockdown.

"We're getting to that point where we've got to let this virus do what it will because it's going to be here forever.

"To be honest, I can start imaging why extending it may actually be detrimental.

"If the virus is going to eventually circulate, you want it to happen while you've got a good level of immunity."

It comes after the Zoe Symptom Study App's most recent data showed cases start to level out largely.

 

 

It also suggested while the 20-29 years olds are bearing the brunt of the variant with rising cases, cases in the over 30s have begun to level off – showing the effect of the vaccines.

According to the study, it is estimated that among unvaccinated people in the UK there are currently 15,099 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid on average, based on PCR test data from up to five days ago.

This is an increase of 18 per cent, up from 12,830 last week.

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, said: “ZOE Covid Study data this week shows rates in former hotspots, such as Scotland and the North West of England, continuing to plateau.

"At the same time, top UK holiday destinations like Cornwall are emerging as new areas with rapidly increasing cases.

"I think this is down to a number of factors, including the sudden influx of holidaymakers over half term, as well as the recent G7 summit and a previously unexposed local population.

"We need to remain vigilant of these UK holiday destinations as summer holidays approach, and ensure that we minimise outbreaks by following government guidelines.

"The earlier people can catch the infection, the quicker they can self-isolate until symptoms abate and stop the spread. We encourage anyone feeling under the weather to take a test as soon as they can and stay at home.” 


The expert also warned Brits to be aware of 21 symptoms of Covid.

He said people need to "urgently know" that there more than just the three classic signs.

The professor added: "The top symptoms being currently logged in the Zoe app are; headache, runny nose, sneezing, fatigue and sore throat, which for many will feel more like a common cold."

All eyes are on the case numbers, as Boris Johnson makes his final decisions on when Freedom Day will come.

The Delta variant, first seen in India, is now the dominant strain in the UK and has already delayed the first planned lockdown lift of June 21.

The app releases data each week logged by Brits on their symptoms and any positive tests.

They then publish a watchlist of rising hotspots as the infections spread or plateau around the country.

Cornwall is not on the watchlist, but was named as a holidayspot that has seen cases rise by experts working on the app "due to the sudden influx of holidaymakers over half term, as well as the recent G7 summit".

The most recent data up to June 19 shows Nottingham on the watchlist as the top potential hotspot, with a rate of 752 cases per 100,000 people after infections rose last week.

A number of Scottish areas are also on the list, after cases spiked in various regions.

Liverpool is still on the watchlist with the largest rate of infection, with around 1,710 cases per 100,000 people – but it hasn't increased in the last week.

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