Covid cases plunge in all age groups as rates reach levels not seen since July

Laura Donnelly
·3 min read
Lights go up in the seaside resort of Brighton as businesses prepare to reopen on Monday - Simon Dack /Alamy Live News 
Lights go up in the seaside resort of Brighton as businesses prepare to reopen on Monday - Simon Dack /Alamy Live News
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter

Covid cases are plummeting in all age groups, official figures show, with separate data suggesting rates are at levels not seen since July.

The latest Public Health England (PHE) figures show rates falling across the board, while the most recent findings from King's College's ZOE Covid symptom study show a 54 per cent drop in a week.

PHE figures for the week ending last Sunday reveal that rates have halved among children and fallen by more than a third in all other groups.

The ZOE symptom study found the current daily average of symptomatic infections is 1,924, down 98 per cent from a peak of 69,000 at the start of January. One in every 1,394 Britons currently has the virus, the study estimates, with a national 'R' rate of 0.7.

"Admissions and deaths are also continuing to decline, putting the UK in a similar place to July last year," said Prof Tim Spector, the lead scientist behind the study app.

"These figures are among the lowest in Europe. It’s unlikely that cases will continue to fall at this pace, but with the vaccinations programme and the weather improving, it's likely they will remain low."

Cases, deaths and vaccinations, coronavirus world map
Cases, deaths and vaccinations, coronavirus world map

Meanwhile, the number of people testing positive for Covid in the week ending March 31 fell by a fifth to the lowest figure since September. Across the week, 29,293 people tested positive for the virus – a decrease of 21 per cent from the previous week.

Case rates in England have fallen across all age groups, PHE said. For 10 to 19-year-olds, the rate stood at 54.3 cases per 100,000 in the seven days to April 4, the highest rate among the age groups but down week-on-week from 111.7.

For 20 to 29-year-olds, it dropped from 61.4 to 36.8 and for 30 to 39-year-olds it fell from 74.2 to 46.3. Among over-60s, the rate was down from 16.8 to 10.9.

The data shows case rates per 100,000 have fallen across all regions and are highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, at 66.9, and lowest in the South-West, at 15.5.

Health officials said some of the data might have been affected by a drop in lateral flow testing last week as some schools broke up ahead of Easter.

The UK's testing regime has significantly ramped up
The UK's testing regime has significantly ramped up

Dr Yvonne Doyle, the PHE medical director said: "It is encouraging that the data continues to go in the right direction, but we know how quickly the virus can spread.

"We have come a long way since the start of the year and the terrible peak we saw during the winter, largely thanks to the country's grit and determination. Whatever your plans next week, please remember to follow the rules and take up your vaccine when offered one. Let's not blow it now."

The PHE data indicates that 46.4 per cent of the population have antibodies to Covid from either infection or vaccination, compared to 14.5 per cent from infection alone.

Among those aged 70 to 84, around 93.5 per cent had antibodies from either infection or vaccination compared to 4.7 per cent from infection alone.