The number of new COVID-19 infections in Britain is estimated to be shrinking by as much as 4% a day suggesting that the national lockdowns were beginning to take effect.
The closely watched reproduction “R” number was estimated to be between 0.8 and 1, down from a range of 1.2 to 1.3 last week, meaning that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between eight and 10 other people.
But the Office for National Statistics estimated that the prevalence overall remained high, with about one in 55 people having the virus.
“Cases remain dangerously high and we must remain vigilant to keep this virus under control,” the health ministry said. “It is essential that everyone continues to stay at home, whether they have had the vaccine or not.”
Even though more young people have been infected, hospital admissions and deaths involving Covid are highest among those aged over 65 years. Hospital admissions decreased in most age groups in the week ending 17 January
The highest hospital admission rates in England were recorded in the West Midlands, while Yorkshire and The Humber recorded the lowest rates in the most recent week
However the death rate rose from yesterday’s figures, standing at 1,401 for the last 24 hours.
A total of 5,100,475 Covid-19 vaccinations had taken place in England between December 8 and January 21, according to provisional NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 359,897 on Thursday’s figures.
Of this number, 4,661,293 were the first dose of the vaccine, a rise of 357,563 on Thursday’s figures, while 439,182 were the second dose, an increase of 2,334.