THE number of people in hospital with Covid started to fall yesterday in a fresh sign the pandemic is in retreat.

Admissions had been growing steadily since mid-May but patients on wards reduced by 126 to 5,056 in England and by one to 6,034 in the UK.

It means the third wave may have peaked a month before experts predicted.

Infections also continued to tumble, with 204,669 in the past seven days — 37 per cent down on the week before.

The figure of 31,117 new daily cases is lower than the 39,906 a week earlier.

A further 85 people in the UK have died

New data from Public Health England also revealed jabs have prevented an estimated 60,000 deaths and more than 22million infections.

Deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam hailed it a “truly massive” success.

PHE’s Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, said that “the true scale of protection from the vaccine programme has become clear”.

PHE said cases are still highest among those aged ten to 19, who are less likely to get serious symptoms.

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The lowest were for age 80 and above, most of whom have been jabbed.

Case rates decreased across all regions.

But PHE medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle warned: “The pandemic is certainly not over and I continue to urge caution.”

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