Covid-19 prevalence in England dropped in March, says study


The prevalence of infections in England dropped from 0.49 per cent in February to 0.20 per cent in March. (Photo credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
The prevalence of infections in England dropped from 0.49 per cent in February to 0.20 per cent in March. (Photo credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

ENGLAND’S coronavirus prevalence rate dropped steeply in March, a survey said and added with a note of caution that it also showed that the drop in infections had slowed.

REACT study, done by Imperial College London, found that infections fell by approximately 60 per cent since the last study done in February, with only 1 in 500 people infected.

However, the study says the speed of decline started to plateau in mid-March.

“We have seen a gratifying fall in infections since our last survey in February… This is hugely encouraging and shows we’re headed in the right direction,” Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme, said.

“However, in our most recent data there has been a flattening off in the infection rate with an R (reproduction) number now around one. This shows that we need to continue to approach the situation with caution and keep sticking to the rules.”

The prevalence of infections in England dropped from 0.49 per cent in February to 0.20 per cent in March.

The REACT study is one of the biggest COVID-19 surveys of its kind in England, with over 140,000 volunteers tested in England between March 11 and March 30 in the latest round.

The study found that the correlation between infections and deaths was diverging, possibly an effect of Britain’s vaccination programme, which has seen over 31 million people receive a first Covid-19 vaccine dose.

“These findings are promising and illustrate the significant impact that lockdown, combined with our phenomenal vaccination programme, is having on the prevalence of this dreadful virus,” health minister Matt Hancock said.

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