Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Monday whether a final easing of coronavirus restrictions in England will take place on June 21.
Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson
The government said the decision to lift the restrictions would be based on four tests.
These are: whether the vaccine deployment continues successfully; whether the evidence shows that vaccines reduce hospitalizations and deaths among people who have been vaccinated; that infection rates do not risk an increase in hospital cases which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS; and that the government’s risk assessment has not been fundamentally altered by new variants of concern.
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Based on these four tests, the latest data offers a mixed picture.
Cases, infections and hospital admissions are all on the rise, although they remain well below the peak of the second wave of the virus; vaccines continue to be effective in reducing the number of deaths; but there is new evidence that the Delta variant of Covid-19, which originated in India, is now responsible for up to 96% of new cases – with a 60% increased risk of home transmission compared to the Alpha variant , originally from Kent last year.
Here’s a detailed look at the latest issues available:
Some 34.3 million first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been delivered to England, equivalent to 77.5% of the adult population.
24.7 million additional second doses have also been given, meaning that 55.8% of people aged 18 and over are likely to be fully immunized.
The government said it was set to offer all people aged 50 and over the two doses of the vaccine by June 21, and all adults to be offered their first vaccine. here at the end of July.
However, vaccine uptake varies among age groups.
The latest available breakdown from NHS England, showing vaccinations through June 6, shows that 91.8% of people aged 80 and over received both doses of the vaccine – suggesting that 8.2%, or about one person out of 12 are not yet fully vaccinated.
It is estimated that 97.4% of those aged 70 to 79 are fully immunized, along with 90.8% of those aged 60 to 69 and 72.5% of those aged 50 to 59.
There are also differences in participation among other groups.
It is estimated that only 68.7% of staff in nursing homes for the elderly are fully immunized, compared to 90.5% of residents of such homes.
Some 88.8% of those classified as clinically extremely vulnerable received both doses, although for London the figure is only 79.5%.
And 68.7% of people aged 16 to 64 classified as ‘at risk’ or caregivers received both doses of the vaccine, falling to 66.6% in the North West of England and 58.8% in London.
The figures suggest that there are still certain groups of the population where the level of protection offered by the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine lags behind the rest of the country.
– Hospital cases and death
The deployment of the vaccine has played a major role in reducing the number of Covid-19 hospitalized patients and deaths since the start of the year.
By May 30, 2021, vaccines had prevented around 42,000 hospitalizations and more than 14,000 deaths among the elderly in England, according to the latest estimates from Public Health England.
This includes 11,800 deaths among those aged 80 and over.
However, hospital cases are on the rise again.
A total of 158 hospitalizations of people with Covid-19 in England were reported for June 9, according to NHS England.
That’s up from 101 a week earlier and the highest number since April 12.
The seven-day average admissions currently stands at 120, the highest since April 21.
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in England stood at 884 at 8 a.m. on June 11.
This is an increase from 805 a week earlier, when the seven-day average currently stands at 856 patients, the highest since May 16.
Two regions are now seeing a marked increase in the number of patients: the North West of England, where the seven-day average is currently 246, the highest since April 24, and London, where the average is rising. at 253, the highest since May 19.
However, other regions have yet to experience a similar trend – and across the board, the patient level is still far below the peak of Wave 2.
– Infection levels and case rate
The proportion of people testing positive for the coronavirus in England has increased in recent weeks.
About one in 560 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to June 5 – up from one in 640 the week before, according to estimates released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday.
This is the highest level since the week of April 10.
These numbers are still very low compared to the peak of the second wave in January; the latest estimate of one in 560 is 0.2% of the population, well below the 2.1% estimated at the start of the year.
But the downward trend in infections since January has reversed, with the latest figures continuing to show an increase, the ONS said.
The North West of England had the highest proportion of people of any part of England likely to test positive for the coronavirus in the week to June 5: around one in 200 people.
South West England had the lowest estimate: about one in 1,920.
Meanwhile, the rate of new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in England is now at its highest level in three months.
A total of 60.1 cases per 100,000 people were recorded in the seven days to June 7 – the highest since March 5.
The rate reached 680.6 per 100,000 at the height of the second wave in early January.
Around nine out of ten municipalities in England (89%) are currently experiencing a rate hike.
This is the highest proportion since the start of the year.
The biggest increases are all in Lancashire, including Ribble Valley (weekdays from 159.3 to 389.2), South Ribble (133.6 to 327.7) and Blackburn with Darwen, which continues to record the highest rate 668.0).
However, other parts of the country are now starting to record strong increases.
These include Staffordshire Moorlands (42.7 to 110.7), Wandsworth in London (33.4 to 93.7) and Oadby & Wigston in Leiestershire (17.5 to 68.4) .
The Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, is behind the increase in infections and case rates, and is now responsible for up to 96% of new cases of Covid-19, a declared Friday Public Health England.
It is also believed to have a 60% increased risk of domestic transmission compared to the Alpha variant, which originated in Kent late last year.
Growth rates of Delta cases double in some areas in as little as 4.5 days.
But while this variant now represents the overwhelming majority of new cases of Covid-19, Public Health England said it was “encouraging” that the increase was “not yet accompanied by a similar increase in hospitalizations”, adding that the vaccination program is continuing to reduce the impact of the variant on audiences where the use of both doses is high.
Of 383 cases of the Delta variant in England up to June 7 that required an overnight stay in A&E, 251 (66%) were unvaccinated, 66 (17%) were more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine and 42 (11%) were more than 14 days after their second.
And of the 42 deaths in England as of June 7 of people who were confirmed to have the Delta variant of Covid-19 and who died within 28 days of testing positive, 23 were unvaccinated, seven were over 21 days after their first dose of vaccine and 12 were over 14 days after their second dose.
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