COVID cases are down.
The latest analysis of the epidemic by Public Health England shows the steep rise in cases over the last five weeks has suddenly stopped and last week actually dipped slightly.
Could it be that the restrictions, some of which date back to mid-September, are beginning to slow the spread of the virus?
Yes and no.
Delve into the latest report, which covers the last week of October, and it’s clear the downward turn has a lot to do with geography and demographics.
Infection rates are definitely falling in north east and north west.
Rates in young people are sharply down, particularly those under 19.
That’s the age group that includes university freshers.
Cases soared when they started term, but quickly fell when thousands were forced into isolation.
There is one final chart in the report worth lingering on.
The death rate, which has been rising almost vertically, has eased off.
Still rising, but there is a definite bend in the curve.
One week’s figures don’t make a trend though. It doesn’t tally with the steady rise in hospital admissions and demand for ventilator beds, so the dip in deaths needs to be interpreted with a degree of caution.
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