More than 1.4 million people had Covid last week, new figures show

·2-min read
Covid-19 testing (Liam McBurney/PA) (PA Archive)
Covid-19 testing (Liam McBurney/PA) (PA Archive)

An estimated 1.4 million Britons had Covid-19 in the week ending 16 December, new figures show.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this represents the highest number since similar figures began in the autumn of 2020.

In England, the ONS said that 1,202,300 people tested positive - which equates to about 1 in 45 people - a substantial increase on the previous week.

The number of positive cases soared across the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, East of England, London and the South East.

The study also found that increases were seen in all age groups, except those in school year 7 to school year 11 group and those aged 70 years and older group. The highest percentage of people testing positive was in those aged two to school Year 6 at 5.9 per cent.

Meanwhile in Wales, it found that around 1 in 55 people had the virus, with an estimated 54,400 people having tested positive.

A further 37,800 cases emerged in Northern Ireland over the course of last week, which estimates suggest weighs in at about 1 in 50 people.

Scotland also witnessed an increase in cases on the week ending 16 December, with 76,200 people testing positive, which corresponds to around 1 in 70 people.

In the same week, the percentage of cases compatible with the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has risen in all four UK countries.

It comes as a further 13,581 cases of omicron were recorded in Britain yesterday, bringing the total to 74,08, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said. The number of positive tests of cases compatible with the omicron variant increased in all regions - except the North East.

The ONS also found that the percentage of cases compatible with the Delta variant (B.1. 617.2 and its genetic descendants) has decreased in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The trend remains uncertain in Scotland.

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