Covid infections show signs of 'slowing down' with cases 'to decline within two weeks'

17 June 2021, 15:45 | Updated: 17 June 2021, 15:59

The slow down in infection rates comes after it was announced Freedom Day would be delayed.
The slow down in infection rates comes after it was announced Freedom Day would be delayed. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

The rate of Covid-19 infections is "slowing down" while cases could begin to drop within two weeks, the latest data from the ZOE Covid study has shown.

Figures showed that the UK has a total of 15,760 new daily symptomatic cases per day.

However, only a small proportion of those vaccinated still got infected in the last week, with reports from 329 contributors with two doses saying they were infected.

The number of contributors who reported an infection after one dose was 214.

As for those unvaccinated, the risk of contracting the virus is currently 1 in 2,093.

The data comes from the ZOE Covid study app, which has been downloaded by millions of contributors around the world who give daily reports which provide data on the virus.

Professor Tim Spector OBE, who is the lead scientist on the app, said: "The numbers this week seem to be slowing down, which is good news.

"Worrying areas with a high number of cases like Scotland, and the North West are starting to level off.

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"Wales in particular has seen tangible benefits from a faster than average vaccination rate, where they previously had some of the highest rates in the country, we are now seeing clear protection against rises.

"Wales is now several weeks ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of vaccinations, so it looks like the rest of us will soon follow suit.

"I'm predicting based on past experience, that although we may not have reached the peak quite yet, within two weeks we will see cases beginning to drop again."

This comes after the government announced plans to delay the easing of restrictions in England until 19 July.

Despite the latest findings, Professor Spector agreed that it was the right decision.

"Boris Johnson’s decision this week to delay the lifting of all restrictions in the UK, was a difficult but probably necessary one," he said.

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"It's good to see decisions being made from the data, not dates.

"Life is better than it was, where we can go out and see friends and family, so having a few more weeks will give us the time and space to get more people vaccinated.

"We have already seen that being fully vaccinated dramatically reduces both the likelihood of contracting the virus, as well as severity of symptoms, so it's crucial that everyone eligible for the vaccine gets the first or second jab as soon as possible."

People aged 21 and over are currently able to book their jabs in England and 18 to 20-year-olds will be eligible from Friday.