England’s COVID-19 infection rate falls for the first time since early December

England has seen its coronavirus case count dip slightly for the first time since early December.

During the week of Jan. 16, the number of people in England who have been infected with the virus fell from an estimated 1 in 50 to 1 in 55, according to the country’s Office for National Statistics.

London, England’s most populous city and hardest-hit region, also reported a decline in infection rates with nearly 1 in 35 people contracting the virus, according to Bloomberg.

The news offers a slight reprieve for a country that has experienced an outbreak of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus. As cases surged in the country in the past few weeks, concerns mounted about hospitals becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. 

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented a new nationwide lockdown in an effort to stem the spread of the more infectious variant and keep it from placing more pressure on an already stressed hospital system.

“It’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” Johnson said at the time.

The United Kingdom began administering a coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca to citizens this month, the second British-approved vaccine after Pfizer’s shot in December. More than 4 million vaccines have been administered throughout the U.K. since vaccinations began, according to a release from the government issued on Jan. 19.

A total of 3,553,802 coronavirus infections and 94,765 virus-related deaths have been reported in the United Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins.

Tags Boris Johnson COVID-19 pandemic in England

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