Numbers testing positive for Covid-19 in England fall for first time since May

The figure is down 39% on the previous week.

Coronavirus testing
Coronavirus testing

The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England has fallen for the first time in almost three months.

A total of 189,232 people tested positive for the virus at least once in the week to July 28.

The figure is down 39% on the previous week, and is the first week-on-week fall since the beginning of May.

The latest Test and Trace figures also showed that the percentage of people getting their test result within 24 hours has risen, to 89.3% from 63.7% in the previous week.

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
(PA Graphics)

The proportion of people not reached by the scheme – meaning they could not be asked to provide details of recent close contacts – was 13.9%, the second highest percentage not reached since October 2020.

Meanwhile, the Zoe Covid study suggested new daily symptomatic cases have decreased.

Their research, based on reports from around one million weekly contributors, suggest there are currently 46,905 new daily symptomatic cases of the virus in the UK on average, down from 60,271 new cases last week.

Of these there are some 29,620 new daily symptomatic cases among unvaccinated people, 6,534 in partly vaccinated people and 10,751 among the double-jabbed, those behind the study said.

Researchers estimate on average one in 87 people in the UK currently have symptomatic Covid, and that the UK R value is estimated to be between 0.8-1.

Covid-19 vaccine doses
(PA Graphics)

Dr Claire Steves, lead scientist on the Zoe Covid Study app and Reader at King’s College London, said the break-up of schools for summer is likely to have had an effect on cases and suggested jabs for children could prevent an autumn wave.

She said: “This (fall in new symptomatic cases) is the good news the UK has been waiting for but, we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, this pandemic definitely isn’t over yet as cases remain very high.

“Take the example of Scotland, where cases have been falling for weeks. Scotland’s schools broke up for summer much earlier than in England and the holidays provide a much-needed break from the daily mixing of children and parents.

“This could suggest that vaccinating children over 12-years-old this summer could help to prevent another wave and stop the spread of the virus in autumn. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what happens later this year when all schools go back again.”

The vaccination rollout is being extended to people aged 16 and 17, with a decision yet to be taken on younger children.

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