Covid: Infections 'must be brought down' to help NHS

21 January 2021 03:35 PM
  • Covid: Infections 'must be brought down' to help NHS

Scientists tracking the spread of coronavirus in England say infection levels in the community may have risen at the start of the latest lockdown.

Infections in 6-15 January were up by 50% on early December, with one in 63 people infected, Imperial College London's initial findings suggest.

Swab tests from 143,000 people indicate 1.58% had the virus during in early January - up from 0.91% in December.

Ministers say the report does not yet reflect the impact of the lockdown.

The latest round of results from Imperial College's React-1 infection survey - one of the country's largest studies into Covid-19 infections - are interim with the full set of results to be published in a weeks' time.

But Imperial College London's Prof Paul Elliott warned if the high prevalence continues "more lives will be lost".

The report also says there are "worrying suggestions of a recent uptick in infections" and Prof Elliott said the third lockdown - introduced on 6 January - was not having the same impact as the first, in April.

London had the highest level in the January period - 2.8%, up from 1.21% in early December.

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