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England falling behind Wales in bringing down Covid infections, expert warns

27 Feb 2021 2 minute read
Cardiff Queen Street during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo by Shengpengpeng Cai on Unsplash.

England is falling behind Wales in bringing down coronavirus infections, an expert has warned.

Professor Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, said the fall in infections across the UK was “good news” but said that it was geographically uneven.

Over this last week Wales has reduced its positivity rate by 41% while the rate in England fell by 22%, he said.

For the latest dates for which data is available, in England ONS estimate that one in 145 people would test positive. In Wales it is one in 205, in Northern Ireland one in 195, and in Scotland one in 225.

That differs significantly from the previous week when the rate of testing positive were similar in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and the rate was lower in Scotland, Professor Kevin McConway said.

“More good news, but still some important reasons for caution,” he said. “However, the pattern of decreases isn’t the same across the whole UK.

“Over this most recent week, the decrease in positivity was very considerably faster in Wales and in Northern Ireland than it was in England and Scotland. In Wales, the estimated positivity went down by 41% of the previous rate in a week, and in Northern Ireland by a huge 46%, so that it almost halved.

“For England, the figure was 22%, and 18% for Scotland – so a fall of roughly one fifth in a week in those countries.

“So now the big difference is between England and the other three nations.”

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