On March 7, 2021, the UK reported 5,265 daily confirmed cases, the lowest reported case count since the second-wave peak of over 68,000 cases on January 8, 2021. This 92 per cent decrease in daily confirmed cases in just under two months is evidence of the effectiveness of the national lockdown, social distancing, and vaccinations, says GlobalData.
Nneoma Okeke, Epidemiologist at GlobalData, comments, “Over 32 per cent of the UK population is now vaccinated as a result of the vaccination campaign that began on December 8, 2020, which has administered over 21.9 million first doses.”
The R number range, a measure used to monitor how rapidly an infection is spreading in a given population, has also expectedly fallen, to 0.7–0.9 from 1.0–1.4 in January, indicating transmission is significantly reduced because of the interventions.
Okeke continues, “Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are predicted to decrease in the following weeks and could be as low as 1,053 cases by March 21, 2021. This is in line with historical patterns of recovery achieved with public health measures.”
On February 28, 2021, Public Health England announced six new cases of the Brazilian COVID-19 variant had been identified, all linked to travelers incoming from Brazil.
Okeke adds, “Given the awareness of new variants, further actions, including restricting travel from high-risk countries, have been introduced and are being closely adhered to. Caution is being taken to ensure the spread of these new variants is limited, especially as the efficacy of the current vaccines against these variants is not known. The ending of the national lockdown and the reopening of schools and non-essential industries in April will be a true test of the effectiveness of vaccinations in limiting the spread of the virus. If the R number continues to fall, the end of the pandemic may be in sight.”