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UK’s Covid warning has been lowered to level two as hospital pressures and infections continue to decline
The Covid alert level in the UK has been lowered as the latest wave continues to die out.
The country’s four top medical officials have jointly recommended that the Covid alert level move from level three to level two.
A level two alarm means that “Covid-19 is generally in circulation, but direct healthcare pressures and transmission of Covid-19 are declining or stable.”
The last time the alert level was at the highest level of four was in December, when the original Omicron variant swept across the country.
It was also at four o’clock last winter, pre-vaccines, when the Alpha strain pushed hospital rates to record levels.
The lowered warning comes after weeks of falling infections and hospitalizations in the UK.
There was a surge in cases starting in June when the highly contagious BA.5 subvariant took off, raising fears of a deadly resurgence of the virus.
But the substrain turned out to be just as mild as the original Omicron variant, and a rise in hospital rates was short-lived.
Analysts at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate that in the week ending Aug. 16, about 1.2 million people had the virus on any given day.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 1.2 million people in England had Covid on any given day in the week ending August 16 – a drop of 15 per cent in one week.
It means about one in 45 people were infected during the week – the lowest level since June 11, when 1.1 million people were infected (one in 50).
Infections also fell in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, marking the fifth week in a row that the number of cases had fallen in all four home countries.
Hospital admissions for Covid have also been in free fall since mid-July. There are now about 680 a day in England, compared to 1,900 a month and a half ago.
Analysis suggests that only a fraction of these people were primarily ill with the disease, with most being admitted for various reasons and coincidentally testing positive.
WHAT IS THE COVID NOTIFICATION LEVEL?
Risk levels are measured by a five-level, color-coded warning system.
The government unveiled the system in May 2020.
There are five levels:
Level five (red) – a “material risk of health care being overburdened”
Level Four – a high or rising transmission level
Level three – the virus is widespread
Level two – the number of cases and transmission is low
Level One (Green) – Covid-19 is no longer present in the UK