There is "some limited evidence" that the recent sharp increase in new coronavirus cases in England is levelling off, the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.
New cases of COVID-19 in England were around 8,400 per day in the latest week up to 24 September – down from around 9,600 per day during the previous week, an ONS estimate said.
"There is some limited evidence that the incidence rate may be levelling off following steep increases during August and September," the agency said.
"However the wide credible intervals mean it is too early to say."
The figures do not include people staying in hospitals or care homes.
According to the survey, there is evidence of higher infection rates in the North West and North East, along with Yorkshire and the Humber and London.
Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the COVID-19 Infection Survey, urged caution over the figures.
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"While the evidence suggests that the increase in new cases may be levelling off after a sharp rise in August and September, it is too early to be certain at this stage," she said.
The study has analysed almost 300,000 test swabs over the last six weeks from randomly selected members of the public, whether they have symptoms or not.
It comes after the leader of the biggest COVID-19 study in England said restrictions across the north of England could be pushing down the growth of the coronavirus epidemic.
The organisation's data indicated case rates were highest among 20-29 year olds, but showed positivity rates had increased across most age groups and were highest in the 60-69 age range in community testing.
The UK had reported a slight dip in those testing positive on Thursday after two straight days of more than 7,000 new daily cases.
But the ONS infection survey looks to estimate infection numbers in the community beyond those who hRead More – Source