COVID levels jump by 420,000 cases in a week

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·Freelance news writer, Yahoo UK
·2-min read
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A crowd of people pictured in Rhondda for a royal visit on Tuesday. COVID cases are continuing to accelerate. (PA)
A crowd of people pictured in Rhondda for a royal visit on Tuesday. COVID cases are continuing to accelerate. (PA)

More than 2.7 million people in the UK are thought to have coronavirus after cases increased by more than 400,000 in a week.

The Office for National Statistics' (ONS) latest infection survey, a report considered the gold standard in monitoring the prevalence of COVID in the community, suggested 2,714,900 people have the virus.

That is up 420,600 from the 2,294,300 estimated to have COVID in last week’s infection survey.

However, the infection numbers - driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron variants - remain some way off the record 4.9 million people in the UK who had the virus in the last full week of March.

Friday's data apply to the week ending 30 June.

Coronavirus cases tracked by the ONS. (PA)
Coronavirus cases tracked by the ONS. (PA)

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The infection survey sees researchers carry out tests on people in private households across the country, with the data used to predict the amount of people who have the virus.

It comes amid some concerns about the government's "living with COVID" approach, which one psychologist said may have provided a "false sense of security".

Dr Simon Williams, a lecturer in psychology who was part of a group of Swansea University academics who carried out research into people's perceptions of the pandemic, told the "i": "Our study shows that many people feel as though things have returned to normal, and haven't been thinking about COVID much, if at all."

Read more: NHS to enforce mask wearing as COVID hospital infections rise 100%

The infection survery was released a day after it was revealed COVID hospital admissions are rising in England: 14.6 per 100,000 last week, up from 11.1 the previous week.

There were reports this week that COVID boosters will be extended to all over-50s amid fears over the impact on hospitals. At the moment, “spring booster” fourth doses is available to over-75s.

However, ONS figures released on Tuesday showed COVID deaths in England and Wales remain at a low level - 285 - despite the latest wave of infections.

It compares to the 1,125 deaths registered in the peak week of the Omicron BA.2 wave of infections earlier in the year.

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