End of Euros 'helping' fall in Covid cases, says data journalist

26 July 2021, 16:58 | Updated: 26 July 2021, 17:29

John Burn-Murdoch says drop in Covid cases 'seems real'

By Tim Dodd

Data Journalist John Burn-Murdoch tells LBC the UK's recent drop in Covid cases has been 'helped' by the end of Euro 2020, which was associated with a rise in cases as people gathered inside to watch England play.

It comes as the number of new cases of Covid-19 reported in the UK fell for the sixth day in a row today.

A total of 24,950 cases were reported by the Government today, down from the 39,950 recorded a week ago on July 19.

The data journalist told Shelagh Fogarty:"There's no evidence yet that the numbers of people going for a test is falling, at least by any substantial amount.

"There's been maybe a very, very small increase, in about the 1% region, in terms of tests taken over the last few days, but that's certainly not going to explain the drop in cases we've seen over the last few days.

"So the drop in cases, I would say, does seem to be real, but of course the big question is will it last, how long will it continue, that kind of thing."

"So what about who's in hospital? What can we extrapolate from that?" Shelagh asked.

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Mr Burn-Murdoch said: "The main difference we've seen in terms of people in hospital over the last few weeks is that whereas at the start of this wave of admissions were almost entirely among younger people, we have seen over the last few weeks a gradual increase in the numbers of older people coming into hospital with Covid.

"That's not necessarily surprising because the way this has always worked is that it's younger people who start the transmission and that gradually feeds into older age groups."

Shelagh then asked: "The drop that we're seeing obviously followed a spike that we saw. Was that concomitant with the Euros, Wimbledon, school ending, all of that?"

Mr Burn-Murdoch replied: "About 4 days after each match that England played in the Euros, there was a spike in cases and particularly among younger men.

"That shows that people gathering inside to watch football does seem to have played a role in pushing England's cases as high as they've gone in the last few weeks.

"With the Euros gone, as well as things like schools breaking up for summer, those absences of indoor mixing are helping us now."

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