The Covid crisis in Britain continues to shrink, according to official data. Official data was released amid hope that a triple boost, including faster booster jabs, falling infections and a wonder pill, will be available for the UK this winter.

The Department of Health reported another 30,693 infections in the past 24 hours. This is 25 percent more than the previous Saturday’s 41,278.

It was the 14th day in a row cases fell week-on-week, barring Monday — a blip that was down to Wales not publishing any infection numbers the previous week.

The number of people dying with the virus also fell 6.6 per cent to 155, down from 166 last Saturday. 

And hospitalisations fell to 1,055 on Tuesday, the latest date data is available for. These were 3.2% lower than the week before.

The figures come after hopes in Britain’s fight against the virus were booster by faster booster jabs, a new treatment that can half the risk of serious infection, as well as plunging infection rates.

The double-vaccinated can book their third dose starting Monday, a month before the rest.

A second important development is that a new antiviral medication has been developed to reduce the chance of people suffering from coronavirus being admitted or even dying.

Official figures from yesterday indicated that both the R-rate and infection rate have fallen. Cases have dropped by a third in a fortnight – from 49,298 to 34,029.

Britain isn’t ‘European Covid capital’ any more: Ireland, Austria and Belgium are now the most populous countries in Europe 

Official data shows that the Covid crisis in Britain has subsided and is now not as severe as it was in Western Europe.

After September’s school return, cases spiked in Britain. This led to advocates for the Government’s “Plan B” strategy naming the UK Europe’s coronavirus Capital.

Numerous scientists including No10’s have argued the UK is only reporting higher death, case and hospital rates due to its greater testing than any other EU country.

However, the latest statistics have shown that Ireland has been overtaken by Belgium, Ireland and Austria in Western Europe’s infection league table. All three countries have a mixture of stricter restrictions such as face masks and work-from-home guidance.

Germany’s highest daily infected rate was reported today by the health minister. This led to the warning that the nation is now facing a fourth wave of pandemics. The World Health Organization said Europe is now at “the epicentre” of the pandemic.

Britain led the charge with Covid vaccines in the UK at the beginning of 2012. This was several months before the EU. Many scientists think this led to immunity declining faster here, making it more susceptible to an increase in the number of cases.  

Coronavirus development: 

  • The hospital boss has warned that patients might be flown up to 88miles away to receive treatment. It was a clear message to its staff regarding a crisis in bed availability at the hospital.
  • The FTSE regained more ground on the back of positivity surrounding the breakthrough with Pfizer’s Covid pill;
  • It was announced Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, one of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine inventors, is set to deliver this year’s prestigious Richard Dimbleby Lecture;
  • Due to the disruption caused by coronavirus, a headteacher union suggested that Ofsted defer college and school inspections.
  • One mother gave birth to an amazing baby last year while she was on life support. She urged all pregnant women to be vaccinated.
  • Official data showed Britain’s Covid outbreak is no longer the worst in Western Europe with infections beginning to soar across the continent.

According to one expert, the most recent figures suggest that coronavirus infection may have reached its peak in England.

The ministers were harshly criticized for booster jabs. High case rates are attributed to the slow rollout.

So far third doses could only be booked when they become due – six months after a second jab. This meant that people had to wait weeks for convenient appointments, even though their immunity was decreasing.

Next week reservations can still be booked online a month ahead or by calling (119).

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the Mail last night: ‘Ahead of the peak winter season these are three really important developments that give us hope. To keep the virus away, it is best to get your booster or jab as soon as possible.

He said that Covid-19 vaccinations were the best way for you to keep your family safe ahead of the winter. This change in the booking system will allow people to make their appointments as quickly as possible.

From Monday the double vaccinated will be able to book their third dose a month earlier than before

On Monday, double vaccinated people will be able book their third dose one month sooner than usual.

The risk of becoming seriously ill with Pfizer Pill is reduced 

Victoria Allen is Science Correspondent at the Daily Mail. 

The risk that vulnerable persons will be hospitalized with Covid-19 or die from it by nearly 90 percent has been reduced thanks to a new antiviral medication.

Britain already has ordered nearly a quarter million doses (called Paxlovid).

It was the first to approve an antiviral similar to molnupiravir this week. This can be used at home by people who are high-risk. 480,000 doses have been secured by the UK.

The trials of Paxlovid involved an initial 1,219 participants. However, it was so successful that they were stopped before the trial ended.

Among those who took the drug – which is made by US firm Pfizer – within three days of getting Covid symptoms, less than 1 per cent were admitted to hospital and none died.

People given a dummy pills suffered much more, with 7 Percent being admitted to hospital and seven of their family members dying.

Sajid Javid Health Secretary said that these results were incredible and that the medical regulator will now evaluate the drug’s safety as well as effectiveness.

According to him, if approved, it could become another important weapon in our arsenal to combat the virus along with our vaccines, other treatments and our vaccinations, such as molnupiravir. The UK was the first to approve this treatment this week. Albert Bourla is the chief executive at Pfizer. He said, ‘Today’s news will make a significant difference in international efforts to end the destruction caused by this pandemic.

“These data indicate that the oral antiviral agent we have developed, should it be approved by regulators, could save lives and reduce severity of Covid-19 infection. It can also eliminate nine of ten hospitalisations.

Pfizer’s combination therapy contains a “protease inhibitor”, which prevents Covid from multiplying in the body.

The HIV drug ritonavir is used in this treatment. It’s a lower dose that keeps the virus from spreading.

The pill works differently to molnupiravir, which was approved by the medical regulator on Thursday and is made by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and MSD – the UK arm of US pharmaceutical giant Merck.

Molnupiravir is a method that incorporates genetic defects into the virus to make it less likely to reproduce. Both antiviral medications are a significant breakthrough in the way the pandemic is being managed. They can be used at home and do not require infusions.

Paxlovid was administered to people within 3 days of the onset of symptoms. 1 percent were admitted in hospital and no one died.

This was compared with seven deaths in people who were given a placebo pill. 6.7% of those hospitalized had to be admitted. Participants in the trials were those unvaccinated or who had been infected with the disease and considered to be high-risk due to obesity and other health issues.

However, the results of this study have yet to be published in scientific journals or verified by any other scientists.

Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds Dr Stephen Griffin stated that antivirals were a crucial element of the care of patients who are clinically vulnerable and may not be able to receive vaccines or to respond.

“This will speed up the booster program, ensure that the NHS can vaccinate patients as soon as possible and, importantly, help more people keep protection against Covid-19 because we know that immunity will decrease over time.

‘Please do not delay – come and get the jab to keep the virus at bay.’

The ministers had planned to distribute boosters to 32million individuals by Christmas. However, this seems increasingly unlikely. Nine million people have received boosters so far.

Jonathan Ashworth is Labour’s health spokesperson and has written to Javid asking for more walk-in clinics, community pharmacies, and boosters. His warning was that it was necessary to address the ‘pitifully high’ vaccine rate among young children. One in four 12- to 15-year olds was not vaccinated, despite the target of vaccinating them by the end of October.

The Covid-19 Actuaries Response Group reports that six million British citizens who have had at least one dose within the last six months and are still eligible for boosters are currently waiting.

Protective immunity against symptoms drops from 65% after three months of receiving the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, to only 45% after six months. Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinations have a 95% and 65% respectively.

Over the same periods, hospitalization protection falls between 95 percent and 75% in Oxford/AstraZeneca while it drops to 99% to 90% in Pfizer/BioNTech. A slight change in effectiveness could have serious repercussions. If the protection against hospitalisation drops from 95 percent to 90 percent, it would result in a doubled number of admissions.

Pfizer has shown that boosters can provide protection against the symptoms of infection up to 95.6%.

Maggie Throup, the vaccines minister, said: ‘The Covid-19 booster programme is making great progress – thank you to the NHS and everybody who has come forward so far to secure vital protection ahead of the winter.

“I urge everyone who is eligible to get a flu shot booster to make sure you and your family are protected over the next months.

Last week, clinical guidance was revised to allow Covid boosters be administered slightly sooner to patients at greatest risk. Care home residents may receive their second doses at different times. This means that they can be given the vaccine in one session as long as their last dose has not been more than five months.

You may find it helpful for housebound or other vulnerable people so they have the flu and Covid vaccines simultaneously. Covid boosters are available at nearly every elderly care facility in England.

Over 9,700 care homes – almost nine in ten – have been visited since the rollout began in mid-September and a further 1,100 homes have visits scheduled for the coming weeks. Over four out of five residents who are eligible have had their vaccinations.

Some nursing homes can’t be reached due to Covid or norovirus outbreaks. However, NHS England stated that dates were set for future visits.

Stephen Powis is the national medical director of NHS England. He stated that seven million people have received their lifesaving vaccines, and that the NHS was moving at a rapid pace to give jabs in arm.

‘While this winter is undoubtedly going to be different, the most important thing you can do is come forward for both your Covid booster and flu jab as soon as possible – now with the added convenience of booking in advance – making it even easier to protect yourself and loves ones.’

Yesterday, the Government announced that 193 more people died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus within just 28 days.