The health ministry said 65 more people have died after contracting the virus, meaning 525 lives have been lost to the coronavirus in the past week.
The sharp drop in new infections has puzzled experts, with a huge increase in the number of new cases expected after the restrictions were lifted on July 19.
Today’s infection figure is an increase from the 21,710 confirmed last Sunday, but a significant drop from 35,438 a fortnight ago.
There has been a worrying increase in the number of deaths within 28 days of contracting the virus, with an increase of 16.7% per week, according to the latest data.
The official death toll since the start of the pandemic now stands at 129,719.
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Earlier today, the Sunday Mirror reported that young people would be offered movie tickets, cab rides and even pizza or kebabs in exchange for their Covid injections.
Government sources say around 30 companies are in talks to join the program, which officials say will encourage more young people to get vaccinated.
So far, taxi giants Uber and Bolt as well as fast food service Deliveroo are on board, and Pizza Pilgrims will also be offering rewards to any youngster who gets the shot.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Thank you to the companies who supported this mission – please get your vaccines as soon as possible and get a good deal. “
The “more carrots and less sticks” decision comes as the government appears to be abandoning its much-criticized plan to force students to have two injections before returning to college this fall.
Yesterday, the government said 26,144 people tested positive for Covid in 24 hours – less than half the number recorded two weeks earlier.
A government adviser said the puzzling drop in numbers, which saw a 33% drop week-over-week, could be due to people refusing to get tested so they don’t have to self-isolate .
Professor Robert West, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviors (Spi-B), which advises ministers, said this could be a factor in the difference between the high infection rate in the UK and the decrease in daily positive cases.
The ONS household swab survey showed that around one in 65 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week through July 24 – up from one in 75 the week before, and the ninth consecutive week in which infections have increased.
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Infections are also believed to have increased in Northern Ireland, although their numbers have declined in Scotland.
Professor West told BBC Radio 4’s Today show: ‘One of the things that concerns people is that people may not be showing up the way they did for tests.
“Maybe one of the reasons for that is that the government’s message kind of gave people the green light to say ‘well, it’s not that bad if you get the infection’.
“(But) if you get tested you will have to isolate yourself, at least for now, and it’s going to be very disruptive. I suspect this may be a factor. “