Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College, said while the number of COVID-19 cases remains high the country appears to be “heading in the right direction”. On Friday the UK declared 23,287 fresh infections and 355 coronavirus-related deaths.
Prof Spector said: “Although the number of new symptomatic cases is still high at over 40,000 daily, over the past week cases are heading in the right direction.
“The worst affected areas have shown the most improvement, but large differences between regions remain.
“Our data is an early indicator of the future NHS situation as we are two weeks ahead of hospital data and four weeks ahead of most deaths.
“So, while these population changes will take a while to work through, we believe they are a positive sign that we have passed the peak of this second wave.
“We urge everyone to respect the restrictions and help get the number of cases down as soon as possible to help the NHS, end the lockdown and get us in good shape for December.”
Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the infection rate in England and Wales was on the decline before Boris Johnson ordered the shutdown.
Figures from the ONS showed an estimated 618,700 people in England – one in 90 – had the virus between October 25 and 31, up from 568,100 the week before.
But while the infection rate has increased in recent weeks, “the rate of increase is less steep compared with previous weeks”, the ONS said.
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“The level of infection in young adults and older teenagers appears to have levelled off recently.
“However, they continue to be the most likely to be infected despite increases in all other age groups.”
The ONS concluded that England’s coronavirus infection rate appears to have “stabilised”.
Meanwhile the UK has introduced a mandatory 14-day isolation period for arrivals from Denmark.
The Scandinavian country has been hit by a major outbreak of COVID in its mink population.
Denmark is the world’s biggest producer of mink fur.
Authorities have said they will cull all its mink – as many as 17 million animals – following the discovery of a mutated form of coronavirus.
It is believed the virus was passed to animals in a fur farm from a human.
Ireland looks set to follow the UK in ushering in quarantine requirements for people arriving from Denmark.