England sees 30 percent drop in COVID-19 cases after three-week lockdown: study
The number of coronavirus cases in England have dropped by 30 percent, according to a new study from the Imperial College London.
This news comes just as the United Kingdom completes its third week of national lockdown. The study noted that the reductions were greater in the north, where the coronavirus has hit harder.
The current lockdown is set to expire on Wednesday, though restrictions will be lifted differently across regions according to their individual rates of infection, reports The New York Times.
In its report, the Imperial College London noted that infection rates had fallen by over 50 percent in the northeast and northwest regions of England but noted, “In contrast, prevalence in London and the Midlands remained almost unchanged.”
“However, the rapid growth of the epidemic seen in London and the South of the country during mid- to late-October was no longer apparent,” added the study. “Our data suggested falls in prevalence across the adult age ranges, including those at older ages who are at the highest risk of severe COVID-19.”
Infection rates among school children aged 5-17, however, were found to have increased. Unlike during the first national lockdown, schools were not closed during the U.K.’s current lockdown.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock cautioned on Sunday that despite the promising results, Britons must still remain vigilant and prioritize COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“We mustn’t waste our progress now we can see light at the end of the tunnel,” said Hancock.
Recently, British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced its vaccine candidate developed in partnership with Oxford University was found to be highly effective at preventing the coronavirus.