UK Covid alert level downgraded

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The UK’s COVID-19 alert level is being downgraded, health chiefs have announced – but they warned the virus was likely to escalate.

The chief medical officers of four UK countries and the national medical director of NHS England have told ministers that the level should be changed from 3 to 2.

A Level 2 designation means the virus is still in general circulation in the UK, but direct COVID health care pressure is low and transmission is declining or stable.

Five medical officials said levels of the latest, more contagious, type of virus are decreasing.

Earlier this summer there was a rapid increase in deaths due to Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

Although the infection rate has now slowed down, fears remain that the UK could be hit by a fresh wave in autumn when the weather turns cooler.

But medical chiefs said in a statement: “Hospitals and the wider health system overall remain extremely busy, but the wave of BA.4 and BA.5 in the summer is waning and direct COVID critical illness is now a much smaller proportion.” ”

Serious COVID cases, direct COVID health care stress, direct COVID deaths and official government estimates of infections were all reduced.

“Covid is present in the community and we may see an increase in circulating cases of BA.4.6 and BA.2.75, but do not expect this to lead to an immediate increase in hospital pressure,” he said.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it would be reviewed.

Medical chiefs said, “There is a potential for further growth of COVID, so please be prepared by offering vaccinations.”

Scientists say that it is rare, but possible, to be re-infected with Kovid within three months.

This month, the number of deaths from Covid-19 in England and Wales has dropped for the first time in nearly two months.

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