Coronavirus Cases Drop for 6th Day, But Boris Says UK ‘Not out of the Woods Yet’

Pedestrians, some wearing face masks cross Westminster Bridge with Elizabeth Tower, better known by the nickname for the Great Bell in the clock Big Ben in the background, in central London on July 26, 2021. - For the first time in the latest wave of coronavirus covid-19 infections, the weekly …
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To the apparent confusion of some scientists, the number of new coronavirus cases has fallen for the sixth day in a row in the UK post-Freedom Day. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has cautioned the country was “not out of the woods yet”.

The United Kingdom recorded 24,950 new cases of the Chinese coronavirus in the latest 24-hour period, the lowest level in three weeks. On Monday, 29,173 cases were reported in the preceding 24 hours, compared to last Monday when that figure was 39,950. The trend was revealed one week after England saw most government covid restrictions lifted on ‘Freedom Day’ (the 19th).

Several health sources in Whitehall speaking to The Guardian are reportedly perplexed because the falling case data could not yet be explained.

Likewise, epidemiologist Dr Christopher Jewell from the government’s Spi-M panel said, “the fall in cases is slightly perplexing”, but added in comments reported by The Times that he suspected “it has something to do with schools breaking up and contact patterns changing”.

Just over a week ago, Professor Neil Ferguson, the pandemics expert who was briefly forced last year to resign his government advisory role after being caught breaking his own lockdown rules to see his married lover, had said that 100,000 cases a day after the end of restrictions was “almost inevitable” and possibly even 200,000 a day. Health Secretary Sajid Javid had also said earlier this month that after scrapping restrictions, the UK could see 100,000 daily cases over the summer.

Professor Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia had said that such a figure was a “substantial overestimate”, and even Professor Ferguson had said this week that he was “positive that by late September or October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic”.

“We will have Covid with us, we will still have people dying from Covid, but we’ll have put the bulk of the pandemic behind us,” Ferguson told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Johnson has, however, urged caution, saying via a Number 10 spokesman: “The prime minister doesn’t think we’re out of the woods yet and has stressed many times before that the pandemic isn’t over.”

The medical director of Public Health England, Yvonne Doyle, also said:  “It is too early to be sure about cases falling and the next few weeks will give us a better sense of whether this is an indication of a longer-term decline, particularly following the lifting of restrictions.”

While some scientists have recently given an optimistic view of the coming seasons, Conservative lockdown sceptics have warned that the government could impose fresh restrictions as the weather changes.

Mark Harper, chairman of the lockdown-sceptic Covid Recovery Group (CRG), earlier this month urged people to “take a look at the small print in Government documents, which offer more than a hint that the Government is intending to reintroduce restrictions this winter” and that the Coronavirus Act powers could be extended into 2022.

In quoting the ominous line from Game of Thrones, Mr Harper warned: “Winter is coming.”

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