The number of coronavirus cases has dropped for the sixth consecutive day as the UK recorded 24,950 new infections.
The new cases logged today is down by almost 40% on last Monday’s 39,950 infections.
A further 14 deaths were also recorded today, although this is a drop from the 19 logged last Monday.
Although today is the sixth consecutive day of falling Covid cases, it is important to remember the number of new infections is usually lower on a Monday due to a lag in data reporting at the weekends.
The fall in cases offer a glimmer of hope that the third wave of the virus may have peaked, but it will be some time before this can be confirmed.
Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, previously said: “This is looking like a reassuring trend, after five days of these falling numbers.
“The fall is much more dramatic than expected. There have been several experts warning of a disaster, but these figures strongly suggest otherwise.”
He sounded a note of caution, however, adding: “It’s too early to see any signal in the data from Freedom Day, which may increase transmission, but this data suggests that we are coming out of this wave. It’s unlikely there will be any further surge from Freedom Day – if there is, it is likely only to be minor, and to probably last a matter of days.”
Just two weeks ago Health Secretary Sajid Javid had predicted that there could be 100,000 confirmed infections a day over the summer.
The new statistics come a week after England’s lockdown ended on Monday July 19 as the government controversially decided to go ahead with the fourth and last step of its roadmap to ending restrictions.
Last Monday 39,950 coronavirus cases were recorded, which equates to a drop of a third in just seven days.
However the number of people in hospital with Covid soared by 183 per cent in a month – with one hotspot now recording 32 times more patients than they were.
On June 22 there were 805 people being treated for the virus in hospitals, but by Thursday last week this had risen to 2,280.
The most alarming rise was recorded in by the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, where the number of Covid patients soared from just three to its current figure of 96.
South Tyneside is one of the country’s worst-affected areas, with a rate of 882.3 cases per 100,000, down from 1,235.3 a week ago, while Sunderland’s rate is only slightly lower at 872.9.
All regions have seen a jump in the number of people being treated over that time, NHS figures show.
It comes as the scientist behind the NHS Covid app urges people not to delete it from phones – but is calling on the Government to axe the requirement to self-isolate after being pinged.
Professor Christophe Fraser has waded into the argument over whether the double-jabbed should have to shut themselves away for 10 days.
Writing for the Mirror, the chief scientific adviser for the app said: “A more useful approach [when] many people are vaccinated is… regular testing as an alternative to quarantine.”
He added that the public should not delete the app because it is reducing hospitalisations.
Up to 10 million people may have been forced to quarantine in recent weeks.
From August 16, those who have had both jabs will no longer have to self-isolate after being pinged.
Ministers insisted Boris Johnson has no plans to bring forward the relaxation of isolation rules for the double-jabbed despite the pingdemic chaos.
Business chiefs have urged the Prime Minister to introduce the changes sooner to avert wider economic damage after shelves in some shops were stripped bare last week.
Meanwhile, the number of Met police officers off work has reached a record high with nearly one in five understood to be currently absent from duty.
Ministers will meet on Monday to discuss increasing the number of critical workers who can take daily tests instead of having to self-isolate.
The Government is understood to be pushing to double the number of sites across England to 2,000 so more key staff, such as lorry drivers, can be included.
Bin collections are expected to be added to the exemptions list.