DAILY Covid cases have dropped 45 per cent in a week in further signs the Omicron outbreak is on the way out.
A further 120,821 infections were announced this afternoon by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), compared with a record high of 218,724 reported seven days ago.
Cases have dropped from a record high last Tuesday[/caption]
This included extra cases and death that went unreported from Northern Ireland and Wales, due to the bank holiday.
But it still marks a huge drop in case numbers a week on – with today’s figures indicating the country could be moving past the peak.
Deaths, however, have been increasing. Some 379 deaths were reported by UKHSA today compared to 49 last Tuesday.
The number of fatalities over the past seven days (1,660) is 81 per cent higher than the week prior.
The number of deaths this winter has not yet come near the peak of previous waves despite a huge surge in Omicron cases over the festive period.
Last week Professor Neil Ferguson predicted cases would begin to fall this week.
Up until yesterday there had been a steady drop in infections every day for five days before the numbers held steady, in promising signs.
While infections have risen quickly in the past weeks, a string of positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains, with data revealing the risk of hospitalisation is 50 to 70 per cent lower than with Delta.
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Covid booster jabs protect against Omicron and offer the best chance to get through the pandemic, health officials have repeatedly said.
The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in Brits’ arms to ward off the need for any new restrictions and protect the NHS.
A total of 149,495 booster and third doses of Covid vaccine were logged on Monday across the UK, new figures show.
More than 35.8 million booster and third doses have now been delivered in the UK, with 1.4 million in the past seven days.
An estimated 67 per cent of all adults in the UK have now had their life-saving booster or third dose.
It comes as an expert has said the UK is the closest of any country in the northern hemisphere to exiting the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor David Heymann, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), suggested in a Chatham House online briefing that the UK was seeing the disease become endemic.
He said: “In general, now, the countries that we know best in the northern hemisphere have varying stages of the pandemic.
PATH OUT OF THE PANDEMIC
“And probably, in the UK, it’s the closest to any country of being out of the pandemic if it isn’t already out of the pandemic and having the disease as endemic as the other four coronaviruses.”
But while numbers are dropping, hospitals and emergency services have struggled with staff absences due to sickness and the rise in infections.
A number of trusts have declared “critical incidents” amid staff shortages and beds filling up.
But ministers have said they expect this phase to be short lived, with enough staff still on hand.
It emerged today a hospital trust in the south east is postponing some non-urgent operations and redeploying staff as it feels pressure amid the nationwide surge in Covid-19.
University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex) faces “unprecedented delays” in discharging patients as well as high numbers of staff off with the virus.
Boris Johnson insisted everything possible is being done to make sure that the people most likely to get ill are getting vaccinated, as he again urged everyone to come forward and get jabbed now.