Coronavirus ‘extraordinary’ shift to young ‘suggests lockdown can be eased’
In an "extraordinary" shift, coronavirus cases are now mostly in younger people which could mean lockdown may be able to ease.
Most confirmed cases of the deadly bug are appearing in those under-40s according to The Times analysis of Public Health England figures.
Data suggests the number of cases in older people have sharply fallen which means they are voluntarily shielding.
Figures also revealed cases in those over the age of 80 stand at 3% of the total, which is a sharp decrease from 28% in March.
The numbers have raised hopes that deaths can be kept low without the need of another strict lockdown, according to The Times.
Younger people can return to work while older people can continue shielding – a strategy which may help the nation get through winter.
This may work as younger people are less badly affected by coronavirus according to experts.
With this shift, the peak age range for infections is now in the 20s in stark contrast to being in the 80s in June.
Although some argue this would suggest lockdown can be eased, ministers have warned if there is an increase in younger people contracting the virus, they could eventually pass it on to the more vulnerable.
Five new coronavirus hotspots in England added to government watchlist
But Professor Woolhouse argued: “People have worked out who’s at risk and they’re acting on it. Government and local authorities may not need to be that authoritarian about this.
Maybe what people need is advice. It’s possible that would be enough to damp down many local outbreaks.”
He added that “we don’t have to panic now and maybe we can be more measured in our response."
This comes as the number of daily coronavirus cases in the UK has shot up to almost 2,000 per day.
There has been a 53 per cent rise in one week, according to a symptom-tracking app.
King's College London used data from more than four million people who report if they have Covid-19 symptoms.
It flagged six new coronavirus hotspots, with three added for the first time.
East Renfrewshire, Scotland, leads the list, with West Lothian in 10th position.
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