Covid Cases And Hospitalisations Are Falling As People Are “Sticking To Lockdown Rules”
Sir Patrick Vallance said the coronavirus figures on positive tests and hospitalisations were coming down (PA)
The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said lockdown restrictions had led to a fall in the number of deaths from Covid-19.
Although deaths still remain high, with over 1,000 in the past two days, rates are below the first peak of the pandemic.
Vallance told a Downing Street press briefing that case numbers are down from the peak in January, but he warned "numbers still remain high".
Hospital admissions are sill above the first peak, but Vallance suggested there was reason to be hopeful.
"All of the numbers are trending in the right direction, coming down quite well because of the effects of lockdown,” he said.
"I want to take this opportunity to just say thank you to everybody, because people have stuck to the lockdown rules, the difficult rules that we have to follow in order to get this to come down.”
Vallance was speaking after Boris Johnson urged around 2 million remaining eligible individuals in the first four cohorts who are yet to receive a coronavirus vaccine to come forward.
"With less than a week to go until the target date of Monday the 15th, there's no doubt we've made great strides, with just over 13 million people now vaccinated in our United Kingdom, including one in four adults in England, over 90% of everyone over 75 and over 90% of eligible residents of care homes for the elderly,” he said.
"But that still leaves nearly two million people, a population roughly twice the size of Birmingham, that we still hope to reach. Now is the moment to do it."
The Prime Minister added: "The reason I make this appeal today for people to come forward in those groups to get vaccinated is not to hit some numerical target but to save lives, prevent serious illness and so the whole country can take another step on the long and hard road back to normality.”The latest government data show up to February 9 a total of 13,577,851 jabs have been given in the UK so far.
Of those 13,058,298 were first doses, a rise of 411,812 on the previous day, while 519,553 were second doses, a daily increase of 3,161.
The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 433,728.
New figures also show a further 1,001 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 114,851.
Johnson also welcomed the news the World Health Organisation backs the UK's strategy of extending the gap between vaccine doses to 12 weeks.
"It was good to see the World Health Organisation today confirm its support for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for use in everyone over the age of 18 and obviously everyone over 65 and also supporting the 12-week interval between the two doses,” he said.
"Indeed they say the longer interval provides greater protection."