COVID-19: Coronavirus rates in England continue to fall across most regions and ages – apart from 5 to 9s and in North West

Rates of COVID-19 continued to decrease in England during the last week of April, according to the latest surveillance report from Public Health England (PHE).

The number of cases per 100,000 people fell in all age groups between 26 April and 2 May apart from those aged five to nine, which saw a slight increase to 16.1 per 100,000 from 14.7 in the previous week.

Case rates continued to be highest in those aged 10 to 19 (41.5 per 100,000), while the lowest case rates were in the over-80s (4.8 per 100,000).

All regions saw a fall in case rates apart from the North West, which saw a slight increase with a rate of 24.9 per 100,000 compared to 24.1 the previous week.

Case rates remained highest in Yorkshire and Humber (41.7 per 100,000) and lowest in the South West (11.9 per 100,000).

As well as falling case rates, the hospital admission rate for coronavirus also fell to 1.04 per 100,000.

This is compared to 1.27 per 100,000 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 1.64 per 100,000.

The highest hospital admission rates continued to be among those aged 85 and above.

Meanwhile, data indicated more than two-thirds (67.4%) of the population have COVID antibodies from either infection or vaccination, compared to 16.6% from infection alone.

PHE warned data in the latest report may have been subject to delays due to the early May Bank Holiday and should be interpreted with caution.

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Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of PHE, said: "Case rates have continued to fall across most age groups and regions, with only very small increases in those aged five to nine and the North West.

"The gradual easing of restrictions is going well but we must all remain alert as the more opportunities we have to meet with others, the more chances the virus has to spread. We should not become complacent.

"We can all play our part to keep the virus under control. If you have symptoms, no matter how mild, come forward for a PCR test and everyone can order free rapid tests to their home. This will help break chains of transmission.

"Continue to follow the simple guidelines by practising ‘hands, face, space, fresh air’ and get the vaccine as soon as you are offered."

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