LONDON, January 22. / TASS /. Coronavirus infection rates in the UK have decreased slightly, but remain very high. This is evidenced by data released Friday by the United Kingdom's National Statistics Office (ONS).
According to her, on average in the country from January 10 to 16, one in 55 people was infected with the coronavirus. This equates to 1.02 million people, or 1.88% of the country's population, slightly better than one in 50 people reported in a similar study covering the period from December 27 to January 2.
The statistical office points out that the situation with the spread of infection differs depending on the region. So, in Northern Ireland, which extended the quarantine until March 5, the proportion of cases increased sharply - from one infected in 200 people to one in 70. In Scotland and Wales, the rates have leveled off and are one in 100 people and one in 70, respectively.
The highest infection rates remain in London and the north-east of the country. In the metropolitan area, one person in 35 caught the infection. This, however, is better than one in 28 two weeks ago.
On the positive side, there has been a reduction in transmission of the new variant of the virus in London, southeast and east of England.
In addition, on Friday, the UK Cabinet's Emergency Science Advisory Group reported continued declines in the base rate of reproduction (R), which is the rate at which the virus spreads. Over the past week, it has decreased from 1.2-1.3 to 0.8-1, and this means that 10 cases have time to infect 8-10 people and the epidemic is declining.
In the fight against coronavirus, the authorities have high hopes for the vaccination of the population, which began on December 8 and which has already covered almost 7.5% of the country's population. At the moment, the inhabitants of the kingdom are being vaccinated with drugs from the American company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, as well as the British-Swedish company AstraZenec and the University of Oxford. The first to vaccinate are medical workers, people living in nursing homes, and people over 80 years old. To them this week were added the British aged 70 to 80 years, as well as people suffering from diseases that can complicate the course of the infection.
According to government figures, the first of two doses of the vaccine was administered to more than 5 million people, including 4.3 million in England, 335,000 in Scotland, 190,500 in Wales and about 150,000 in Northern Ireland. Another 460 thousand people received the second dose. The British authorities have previously decided to increase the interval between the introduction of two doses of the drug from the recommended three weeks to three months in order to have time to get the maximum number of people vaccinated.
A total of 94,580 coronavirus cases have died in the UK, the largest figure in Europe. The total number of detected cases of infection in the country has reached 3.54 million, however, according to experts from the University of Cambridge, in reality, this figure is at least three times higher.