COVID-19 infections have levelled off in England: ONS

LONDON: The number of COVID-19 infections in England appears to have levelled off in recent weeks, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said daily COVID infections in England rose by an estimated 38,900 in the most recent week, to November 14, down from around 50,000 the week before.

“The incidence rate appears to have levelled off in recent weeks,” it said in a statement.

Overall prevalence of COVID-19 infections however rose to 1 in 80 people from 1 in 85 the previous week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had ordered England back into a national lockdown after the United Kingdom passed the milestone of one million COVID-19 cases earlier this month.

Johnson’s imposition of stricter curbs came after scientists warned the outbreak was going in the wrong direction and that action was needed to halt the spread of the virus if families were to have any hope of gathering at Christmas.

Johnson was criticised by political opponents for moving too slowly into the first national lockdown, which stretched from March 23 to July 4. He fell ill with COVID in late March and was hospitalised in early April.

The measures brought England into alignment with France and Germany by imposing nationwide restrictions almost as severe as the ones that drove the global economy this year into its deepest recession in generations.