COVID cases are dropping in the UK, but have we passed the peak?

COVID cases may be on a steady decline, but the consequences of Freedom Day are yet to be seen.

COVID in the UK
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COVID in the UK

The daily number of new COVID cases in the UK has fallen for the sixth consecutive day, going from 29,173 on Sunday to 24,950 on Monday. Given the decrease, experts have been wondering whether or not the country has passed the peak—but the answer is not that simple.

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Passing the peak?

Just over a week ago, scientists predicted that there could be up to 200,000 cases a day during the height of the third wave, and while this surprising turn of events has been welcomed by all, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK is certainly ‘not out of the woods.’ In fact, the consequences of moving into Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown will only be revealed after another week or two. A spokesman for No. 10 said:

The prime minister doesn’t think we’re out of the woods yet and has stressed many times before that the pandemic isn’t over.
We’ve said before when we moved to Step 4, that allowing large numbers of people to meet in indoor settings would have an impact on case numbers.
We won’t have seen the impact of Step 4 yet in terms of case numbers so as we always do, we will continue to keep all the stats under review.

Why are the cases falling?

There could be multiple factors attributing to the decline in daily COVID cases. BBC spoke to Professor Adam Kucharski from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who pointed out two possible reasons—the closing of schools and the nice weather. He said:

For me there are two big ones: schools closing and an increased awareness of a growing epidemic—alongside nicer weather.

Others believe that the Euro Championship may have also contributed to a spike in numbers and now that it is over, less people are being infected with the virus.

Being cautious

COVID cases may be dropping every day but authorities are still urging people to remain cautious as the trend could be easily reversed. Professor Adam Finn from Bristol University told The Independent:

We still have enough non-immune people around to reverse this trend if we completely stop trying to avoid spreading the infection.
Together we desperately need to keep this happening if we can. It’s a joint effort. There’s a lot we can all do. We need to test ourselves before we go to work or mix with others, always wear a mask in crowded places and when inside with others – places to avoid for now whenever possible – and, above all, get vaccinated.
COVID: Here's what you should know about the rising cases in the UK COVID: Here's what you should know about the rising cases in the UK