UK Covid cases continue to fall as experts say Omicron infections appear to be 'stabilising'

Credit: PA

The UK has reported its lowest number of reported daily Covid-19 cases in a month, as experts say Omicron infections appear to be "stabilising".

According to the Department of Health's latest figures, 81,713 positive Covid tests were returned in the past 24 hours.

The last time daily reported cases dropped lower than Saturday's figure was on December 15, 2021, when 78,610 positive tests were recorded.

However, case numbers are often lower at the weekend due to a lag in reporting.

The latest data comes after Friday saw the number of daily reported cases across the UK dip below 100,000 for the first time in nearly a month.

Saturday's figures represent an almost 33% drop in positive cases in the past seven days.

However, daily deaths reported within 28 days of a positive Covid test have increased by 45% in the same time period, with a further 287 fatalities reported on Saturday.

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A number of experts have said the latest figures are encouraging, with Dr Chris Smith, a consultant virologist and lecturer based at Cambridge University, saying they show “great cause for optimism”.

He told BBC Breakfast: "96% of the country, we’re told, now have antibodies against the coronavirus.

"Thanks to vaccinations, thanks to infection rate reinforcing our immunity, we are getting to a point where the population have sufficient immunity that we can fend off the infection when we get it much better than we could previously.

“So we don’t see that strong connection of cases turning into consequences.”

Prof Linda Bauld, a professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh and chief social policy adviser to the Scottish government, also told the show that Omicron cases are "stabilising" and "things seem to be moving in the right direction".

Dr Susan Hopkins said there were signs of “plateauing” numbers of infections in London and the east and south east of England.

She said hospitals had been able to discharge patients “faster” due to Omicron being milder than previous coronavirus variants but that, with around 15,500 people in hospital last week, the NHS remains under “a lot of pressure”, with some trusts “unable to do much of their elective care” - a situation exacerbated by staff absences.


A further 74,576 people tested positive for Covid in England, while another 266 deaths were recorded.


In Scotland, 4,469 positive tests were returned and the nation reported a further 21 fatalities.

Northern Ireland

Another 2,668 Covid infections were reported in Northern Ireland and no further deaths were recorded.


Wales does not update its Covid data over the weekend.