Covid Latest: Has Anyone In England Still Not Had It?

·4-min read
Covid infections have swept across the world – so how many people still haven't caught it in Britain? (Photo: milan2099 via Getty Images)
Covid infections have swept across the world – so how many people still haven't caught it in Britain? (Photo: milan2099 via Getty Images)

Covid infections have swept across the world – so how many people still haven't caught it in Britain? (Photo: milan2099 via Getty Images)

New analysis suggests around nine in 10 people in England have caught Covid at least once in the last two years.

Now that England is operating under the government’s ‘Living With Covid’ strategy, the lockdowns we experienced towards the start of the pandemic seem like a long time ago.

But the virus is still very much with us as proven by these new estimates from The Financial Times, even if it is now significantly less deadly for most vaccinated people.

Journalist John Burn-Murdoch explained that he believes nine out of 10 people in England have tested positive for Covid at some point in the pandemic based on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data available leading up to mid-April.

He tweeted: “The range is based on the cumulative series ONS published on April 22, but extending it forward to late April based on latest weekly ONS prevalence numbers.”

This claim does line up with the previous ONS suggestion that more than nine in 10 people in England now have antibodies against the virus, although a fair portion of these will stem from vaccinations rather than from catching Covid.

Yet Burn-Murdoch’s suggestion is a large jump up from the seven in 10 people in England the ONS estimated had Covid between 27 April 2020 and 11 February 2022, in research published in April.

The ONS had the most detailed analysis to date at the time with 71% in England testing positive – this works out to a staggering 38.5 million people.

However, this data was disrupted by the Omicron wave which swept across the country in winter.

The new Covid strain triggered the highest prevalence of positive cases compared to any previous period of the pandemic, meaning even when the ONS data was published, it was expected to be an underestimate.

All legal restrictions in England were also lifted at the end of February, meaning Covid was able to spread even further.

“The total number of infected people was rising rapidly when the data stopped,” Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at the University of Oxford, explained. “The bottom line is the majority of people in the UK have had Covid.”

ONS found this stat by using data from the 535,116 people who took part in the coronavirus infection survey in England.

The infection rate was slightly lower in Wales, where the ONS estimated 56% of the population had tested positive, although this was based on data only collected from June 2020 onwards.

In Scotland, the rate was even lower at 52%, but again, data was only collected from September 2020.

For comparison, in Northern Ireland, 72% of the population were predicted to have been infected between 27 July 2020 and 11 February 2022.

The new findings from the Financial Times come as Covid rates are falling in the UK.

Covid infection rates rose to new highs in March but have since started to drop once again (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)
Covid infection rates rose to new highs in March but have since started to drop once again (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

Covid infection rates rose to new highs in March but have since started to drop once again (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

There have been just 79,310 positive tests in the last seven days – a drop of almost 40% – after peaking in March to the highest number of positive cases seen in the UK since the first lockdown.

However, there’s been a decrease in the number of tests conducted as well, by 18% compared to the previous week.

Yet, after a brief spike, deaths within 28 days of a positive test have dropped as well, as has the number of patients admitted to hospital.

According to the Gov.uk official data, 22 million people have tested positive for Covid during the course of the pandemic across the UK. More than 18.5 million of these cases came from England.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)
Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales (Photo: PA GraphicsPress Association Images)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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