English COVID infections sharply rise after three weeks of falls - survey

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FILE PHOTO: A man receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a drive through vaccination centre amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hyde, Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - The prevalence of COVID-19 cases in England has risen sharply and is back above 500,000 infections in the latest weekly data, the Office for National Statistics said on Friday, after dropping in the three previous weeks.

The ONS said an estimated 567,300 people had COVID-19 in the week to December 12, the first full week after the lockdown in England ended, up from 481,500 the previous week.

"The percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England has increased," the ONS said, adding there had been a sharp increase in London.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout. Editing by Andrew MacAskill)