Britain

Weekly COVID-19 cases in England decline for first time since July

The number of weekly COVID-19 cases in England has declined for the first time since July, new figures show.

A total of 6,115 people tested positive for coronavirus in the week from 13 to 19 August, figures from the government's test and trace operation have revealed.

That is 8% lower than the week before and the first decrease since the beginning of July.

The number of people contacted through the test and trace system increased during the week to 19 August to 7,941, in part due to an operational delay the week before.

Of these, 72.6% were reached and asked to provide information about their contacts, compared to 79% the week before, the government said.

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A total of 75.5% of people who were in close contact with those who were initially contacted were reached.

Since the NHS contact tracing system was launched in late May, 65,398 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in England have had their cases transferred to it.

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Of these cases, 50,876 people (77.8%) were reached and asked to provide details of recent contacts while 12,851 (19.7%) were not reached.

A further 1,671 people (2.6%) could not be reached because their communication details had not been provided.

Image: A sign telling people to keep their distance in Birmingham

From the 50,876 people who were reached, 246,262 of their close contacts were then successfully contacted and told to self-isolate.

That is 80.6% out of a total of 305,752 people who were identified as close contacts.

The remaining 59,463 people (19.4%) could not be contacted.

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