Covid infections at lowest level in two months- ONS

·2-min read
A Covid ward (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)
A Covid ward (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)

Covid-19 infections are now at their lowest level in the UK for more than two months but experts are warning about a spike to come over winter.

A total of 1.4 million people in private households are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to August 16, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

This is a drop of 16 per cent from 1.7 million in the previous week and is the lowest total since the week to June 11.

Despite the numbers continuing to fall health experts have warned levels are likely to rise again in the autumn and winter.

 (Press Association Images)
(Press Association Images)

Sarah Crofts, head of analytical outputs for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Infections continue to head in the right direction across all of the UK and are now at levels similar to those last seen in mid-June.

“Rates remain lowest in school-aged children and we will closely monitor the data to see how the return of schools in September may affect this.”

High levels of coronavirus antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus this year remains low.

The BA.4/BA.5 wave has not been as steep as the Omicron BA.2 wave earlier in 2022, which saw weekly infections peak at 4.9 million in late March.

A new booster jab will be offered to everyone in the UK aged 50 and over from next month, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to increase protection ahead of future waves.

It comes as Covid vaccine maker Moderna is suing rival Pfizer and German drug manufacturer BioNTech, accusing them of copying its technology to make their own vaccine.

Moderna claimed Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine infringes on patents Moderna filed several years ago protecting the technology behind its jab.

The company filed lawsuits in both US federal court and a German court seeking damages.

In a statement, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said: “We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.”