The number of daily COVID-19 infections in Southwark on Tuesday was less than half those recorded seven days previously, as cases continue to fall in every London borough.
This week, the UK recorded its highest ever death toll (January 19) with 1,610 deaths, but there are hopes that the drop in infections could be the light at the end of the tunnel – along with the rapid rollout of the vaccination programme.
The most recent data, at the time of going to press, showed that 184 new cases of the virus were recorded in Southwark on Tuesday, January 18. A week earlier, on Tuesday, January 12, daily cases were 378 – showing a drop of more than 50 per cent.
Antibody testing has also shown that a much higher proportion of the public had already been infected with the virus by December than previously understood, with one in eight people – or 5.4 million – having antibodies.
A separate, shocking study from the University of Leicester has also shed light on the long-term health impact of the disease, with nearly a third of COVID-19 patients going back to hospital within five months of being discharged, and one in eight passing away within 140 days.
The study, which is not yet peer reviewed, found that patients had an increased risk of heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.
But researchers also noted that treatments and care had improved since the first wave as doctors have learned more about the virus.