Covid Infection Rates in England Fall in Boost for Johnson
(Bloomberg) -- The number of people in England infected with Covid-19 fell slightly in the week to Jan. 16, providing some relief to the government as fears mount that hospitals face being overwhelmed.
Office for National Statistics figures Friday show an estimated one in 55 had the disease compared with one in 50 at the start of the month, further evidence that cases may be flattening off. There was also an improvement in London, the worst-affected region, where an estimated one in 35 people were infected.
Spiraling infection rates have put hospitals across the country under unprecedented pressure, forcing the government to impose a third lockdown this month in an effort to contain a faster-spreading variant of the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signaled, however, that the country remains a long way from getting back to normal after the U.K. this week reported its highest daily death toll since the pandemic began.
The percentage of the population that had the disease in the latest week fell to 1.88%, the first decline since early December. Nevertheless, more than 1.02 million were infected.
The new variant is more prevalent in London and the southeast than in other regions, though there was an improvement in the latest week, the figures showed.
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