Dr. Susan Hopkins also said we’re seeing a slowdown in hospital admissions – but there is still a high rate of COVID-19 in the country.
The UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) chief medical adviser said cases of Covid had “stabilized” in southern England – but about one in 15 were still infected.
Dr. Susan Hopkins also said we’re seeing a slowdown in hospital admissions.
The latest figures released yesterday showed that 99,652 people have tested positive for Covid in the UK, while the death toll has risen by 270.
Dr Hopkins told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is still a high rate of infection across the country, about 1 in 15 in England, and about 1 in 20 in other parts of the UK.
“We are seeing infections declining in the community, which is a good thing, in London, the South East and the East of England.
“There are still uprisings, but they are much slower in the northern parts of the country.
“All of this means we’re seeing a slowdown in hospital admissions but it’s slowing rather than reversing at the moment, so there are still over 2,000 hospital admissions across the UK, and almost 2,500 yesterday.”
Dr Hopkins said hospitals were able to discharge patients “quicker” due to Omicron being milder than previous variants of the coronavirus, but with around 15,500 people in hospital last week, the NHS was still under “significant pressure”, with some confidence “not able to do a lot of elective care”, a situation exacerbated by the absence of staff.
Dr Chris Smith, a consultant virologist and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, said the current coronavirus data gave him “great reason to be optimistic”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “The number of people going into intensive care or in mechanical ventilation beds is really declining. And it has remained steady.
“Now it may be because Omicron hasn’t had a chance to bite into the food yet and there will be a slight increase later.
“On the other hand, it may be that we’re following the path of South Africa, which we seem to have so far, is that they’ve seen a lot less translation of hospital cases into ICU bed cases. So let’s hope that continues.”
“It gives me great reason for optimism because I think we have reached a point now where thanks to vaccination, where 96% of the country now has antibodies against the Corona virus, thanks to vaccinations thanks to the rate of infection that boosts our immunity. We have reached a point where the population has sufficient immunity that we can Through which we stave off infection when we get it better than we used to.
“So we don’t see this strong association of issues turning into consequences.”