London [UK], November 30 (ANI/Sputnik): The rate of COVID-19 infections fell by 30 per cent in England during the first three weeks of the second national lockdown imposed on November 5, according to a study by the Imperial College London released on Monday.
"Three weeks into the second national lockdown in England there has been a ~30 per cent proportionate reduction in prevalence overall, with greater reductions in the North," the study said.
Despite the improvements, which also saw the virus' reproduction rate -- the number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, on average -- fell below one, researchers said the epidemic should be kept under continued monitoring until prevalence is reliably reduced to much lower levels and a vaccine is found.
The findings by Imperial College London come as England is preparing to move out of the lockdown on Thursday and return to the tiered local system of restrictions -- medium, high and very high -- that was in place before November 5.
According to the government, most parts of England's territory will be in the higher two tiers, meaning that bars and restaurants will have to operate under tight restrictions or remain closed, and that people from different households will not be allowed to mix indoors.
Parliament has yet to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, but a large number of lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party have demanded to publish the evidence justifying its decision, while the opposition Labour Party has not yet confirmed its support.
As of Sunday, the UK had recorded 1,617,327 COVID-19 coronavirus cases and 58,245 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. (ANI/Sputnik)