COVID cases have dropped as the UK has reported 26,144 new cases today and 71 more deaths in the latest 24-hour period.
Yesterday 29,622 coronavirus infections and 68 fatalities were announced and 31,795 cases and 28 deaths were reported this time last week.
Meanwhile, 35,773 people received their first dose of a Covid vaccine yesterday, taking the overall total to 46,811,298.
And 164,295 had their second jab, meaning 38,126,702 are now fully inoculated.Advertisement
It comes as a government expert warned that falling case rates over the last week could be explained by people refusing to get tested in a bid to avoid having to self-isolate.
Professor Robert West, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (Spi-B), which advises ministers, said it could be a factor in the difference between the high infection rate in the UK and the decrease in daily positive cases.
The latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that Covid infections are up to their highest level since January in England, and the highest since February in Wales.
The ONS’s household swab test survey showed that around one in 65 people in private households in England had coronavirus in the week to 24 July – up from one in 75 in the previous week, and the ninth consecutive week that infections have increased.
Infections are also estimated to have risen in Northern Ireland, though numbers have dropped in Scotland.