COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, reaching highest level since late April

·2-min read

The number of cases of COVID-19 is continuing to rise in the UK, with the latest figures reaching their highest level since late April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

A total of 2.7 million people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the last week of June - up 18% from 2.3 million the previous week.

While it is the highest estimate for more than two months, it is still well below the UK's record high of 4.9 million reported at the end of March.

The increase appears to have been caused by people catching Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, the ONS added.

In week ending 29 June, the estimated number of people testing positive in England was 2.15 million, or 3.95% of the population, the authority said. That equates to one in 25 of the population - up from 1.8 million, or one in 30, the previous week.

In Northern Ireland, the number testing positive was 98,400 - around one in 19 people. That figure has risen from 71,000, or one in 25.

In Wales and Scotland the figures are for the week ending 30 June.

The number of people testing positive in Wales was 149,700 - about 1 in 20 people, up from 106,000, or one in 30 the week before.

In Scotland it was 312,800 - around one in 17 residents, up from 288,200, or one in 18.

The figures are taken from PCR tests.

In England, the number of people in hospital who have tested positive was 11,878 on 7 July, up 33% week-on-week.

Those requiring mechanical ventilator beds was 232 on 7 July, up 10% week-on-week and the highest number for two months.

It is still far below previous pandemic peaks, however.

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