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December 2, 2020 -- A nationwide three-week lockdown in England is ending Wednesday with an apparent 30% downturn in new coronavirus cases.

A study by Imperial College London found 96 people per 10,000 became infected between Nov. 13 and Nov. 24, compared to 130 people per 10,000 between Oct. 16 and Nov. 2. 

England has had two coronavirus lockdowns. This time, the biggest drop in new cases occurred in the northern part of the country, the study said.

“In contrast, prevalence in London and the Midlands remained almost unchanged. However, the rapid growth of the epidemic seen in London and the South of the country during mid- to late-October was no longer apparent,” the study said.

The study found a drop in new cases in all adult age ranges, including older adults. However, more infections were found in school-aged children. Schools remained open during the second lockdown, the study noted.

The current British lockdown ends at midnight Wednesday though restrictions will remain in some regions that still have high infection rates. Nationwide restrictions remain, such as limits on the size of gatherings.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized with coronavirus early in the pandemic, said Britons must remain vigilant.

“If we ease off now, we risk losing control of this virus all over again, casting aside our hard won gains, and forcing us back into a New Year national lockdown with all the damage that would mean,” he said in an announcement last week. “The tough measures in our Winter Plan are the best way to avoid this outcome.”

The United Kingdom has reported more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and almost 60,000 coronavirus-related deaths. That’s the fifth-most deaths among all nations.

Show Sources

Imperial College. "REACT-1 round 7 interim report: fall in prevalence of swab-positivity in England during national lockdown"

British Prime Minister. “Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 26 November 2020”

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