[Is it time to ditch the Covid numbers? Pressure mounts on UK as Ireland announces it's stopping daily updates
Experts told MailOnline that the UK's daily infection numbers are showing a 'diminishingly small proportion' of actual cases now that free testing has been scrapped for the vast majority of Britons. Ireland's Department of Health today confirmed it will 'no longer' publish daily Covid figures. Instead, outbreak figures will be 'updated regularly' on the country's Covid dashboard. Professor Paul Hunter, an epidemiologist based at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the UK will follow suit 'at some point' and it is 'quite right' that Covid data is only shared through weekly updates — as is done for influenza — as the crisis becomes an epidemic. But UK health bosses told MailOnline that there are 'currently no plans' to scrap the daily numbers, which today showed 12,421 new positive tests, down 37 per cent on last week (top left). The daily figures also revealed deaths reached their lowest total since the start of the month (top right), dropping by a fifth. And hospitalisations also continued to plunge (bottom left), dropping 23.4 per cent to 1,260 on Monday, the latest date data is available for. Separate Government statistics showed England's Covid outbreak has shrunk to its lowest size in two months as the country's latest wave continues to recede naturally (middle graph and bottom right map).