Covid cases in the UK rise for the first time in two months, ONS says

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Covid infections have risen for the first time in two months.

The jump is likely to have been caused by increases in cases compatible with the original Omicron variant BA.1 as well as the newer variants BA.4 and BA.5, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

A total of 989,800 people in private households are estimated to have had the virus last week, up from 953,900 the previous week.

All four nations have seen a rise in infections, though the ONS has described the trend in Scotland and Wales as “uncertain”.

Omicron BA.1 is the original variant of Omicron that caused a surge in infections across the UK in December and early January.

BA.4 and BA.5 are newer variants that were recently classified by the UK Health Security Agency as “variants of concern” after analysis found both were likely to have a “growth advantage” over BA.2.

At the moment, BA.2 remains the dominant strain in the country.

In England, 797,500 people were likely to test positive for Covid-19 last week – the equivalent of around one in 70.

This is up week-on-week from 784,100, which was also around one in 70.

“Across all four UK countries, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 increased in the week ending June 2 2022,” the ONS said.