Covid cases near peak of second wave as schoolchildren fuel rise

·2-min read

Covid infection levels in England are getting close to the peak seen at the height of the second wave and are mostly being driven by rates among schoolchildren.

Overall, one in 60 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to October 9, up from one in 70 the previous week.

One in 60 is the equivalent of about 890,000 people. At the peak of the second wave in early January, around one in 50 was estimated to have coronavirus

Around one in 10 students from school Year 7 to 11 had coronavirus in the week to 9 October, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS.)

When modelling the level of Covid-19 infections among different age ranges in England, the ONS said rates have increased for those in school years 7 to 11, people aged 50 to 69, and those aged 70 and over.

Rates have also increased for people aged 50 to 69, those aged 70 and over, and there are early signs of a possible increase for people from school Year 12 to age 24.

In Wales, around one in 45 people was thought to have Covid-19 in the week to October 9, up from one in 55 the previous week and the highest since estimates began in July 2020.

In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is one in 120, up from 130 the previous week, and in Scotland the figure is around one in 80, down from one in 60 the previous week.

While infection levels in England are high, they are not leading to the same level of hospital admissions and deaths as during the second peak thanks to the success of the vaccination campaign.

The spread of the virus is most prevalent among younger age groups who have not been vaccinated, or who have only been jabbed in recent weeks.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in all regions of England except the East Midlands, London and the North East, the ONS said.

It came as NHS England said more than three million top-up Covid-19 jabs have been delivered in four weeks.

A total of 3.1 million boosters have been given, with two in five people aged 50 and over who are eligible coming forward, it said.

More than a third of health and care workers who are eligible have also had their booster vaccine.

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