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COVID-19 cases in England fall below 500,000, ONS estimate shows

A man crosses London Bridge with Tower Bridge seen behind, in the City of London financial district, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - The number of people in England with COVID-19 fell below 500,000 last week for the first time since mid-October, an official estimate showed on Friday.

The Office for National Statistics reckoned 481,500 people in England had COVID-19 during the week from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, down 8% on the previous week.

The estimate, formulated with the University of Oxford, is based on samples of the population.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Michael Holden