© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk over London Bridge during morning rush hour, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in London, Britain, July 29, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) -The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England is estimated to have fallen to 1 in 75 people in the week to July 31, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday, down from 1 in 65 recorded the week before.
The data adds to evidence that coronavirus cases have fallen from a peak on July 17 in daily reported figures for this wave.
“In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased in the week ending 31 July 2021,” the ONS said in a statement.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lifted COVID restrictions in England despite a predominance of the highly-transmissible Delta variant which concerns scientists globally.
Daily cases in Britain hit 54,674 two days before the restrictions ended but have fallen since.
The ONS data, which provide a fuller picture of the pandemic than the daily testing totals, show a similar downward trend.
The ONS Infection Survey estimates infection numbers in the community beyond just those who have been tested, giving an estimate of prevalence unaffected by fluctuations in people coming forward to be tested.
Daily case totals rose steeply in the run-up to the end of legal coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19, and health minister Sajid Javid said cases could hit 100,000 a day after the unlocking.
Instead, the number of new cases recorded each day started to fall. Epidemiologists have said the end of the Euro 2020 soccer championship and school summer holidays might have helped reduce the spread of the virus, as well as cautious behaviour in the population.
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