We’re not out of the woods yet, PHE warns
Tens of thousands of people are still becoming infected with Covid-19 each week, health officials have warned.
Public Health England (PHE) said “we’re not out of the woods yet” as it urged people to stick to social-distancing measures as they enjoy their new freedoms.
The health body welcomed the news that deaths were reducing.
But it said that there are still as many people in hospital now as there were at the start of the second wave.
PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: “It is encouraging that the death rate is falling, but there are still as many people in hospital now as there were at the start of the second wave, and tens of thousands of us are getting infected every week and could become seriously ill.
“As restrictions lift and the weather improves, we cannot drop our guard. We’re not out of the woods quite yet.
“Until all of us are protected, it remains essential to follow the steps we know stop the virus from spreading.
“Kill it by washing your hands, block it by wearing your mask, and maintain a safe social distance in the open air.
“Case numbers are still high in certain places and looking forward they are certainly not predictable. So your actions are still saving lives.”
The Government said a further 43 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 126,713.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 150,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
And in the last seven days nearly 34,000 people were diagnosed with Covid-19 across the UK.
And each day around 268 people are being admitted to hospital.
But as of March 23, the seven-day average for UK deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 was 50: the lowest number since September 28.
And Covid-19 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to March 19 totalled 963, the lowest since the week to October 16.
In both cases, the numbers are at their lowest level for several months, but not as low as during last summer.