UK Covid infections leap by 43% in a week, latest ONS survey reveals

·2-min read
A sign at a Covid walk-in test centre (PA Wire)
A sign at a Covid walk-in test centre (PA Wire)

Covid levels have risen in all four nations of the UK amid the spread of the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

A total of 1.4 million people in private households are estimated to have had the virus last week, up 43 per cent from 989,800 the previous week.

This is the highest estimate for total infections since the start of May, but is still well below the record high of 4.9 million which was reached at the end of March.

The ONS said the latest increase was “likely caused by infections compatible with Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5”, which are now thought to be the most dominant variants in much of the UK.

Analysts recently said that both variants have a “growth advantage” over BA.2.

In England, 1.1 million people were likely to test positive for Covid last week - the equivalent of around one in 50.

This is up week-on-week from 797,500, or one in 70.

Meanwhile, separate figures released on Thursday showed a small uptick in hospital admissions among the elderly.

There were 153 outbreaks detected in care homes, up week on week from 67, with 102 outbreaks having a least one linked case that tested positive for Covid, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The figures also show the rate of hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 among the over-85s was 52.7 per 100,000 in the most recent week, up from 41.9 and the second weekly rise in a row.

The overall hospital admission rate for England stood at 6.1 per 100,000 people, up from 4.7. This is still well below the peak of the Omicron variant last December and the peak of the Delta variant a year ago.

Kensington and Chelsea has London’s highest infection rate, with 149.8 infections per 100,000 people in the week up to June 11.

Meanwhile, Hillingdon has the capital’s second highest rate with 147.9 cases per 100,000 people during the same period.

As of June 15, a total of 33,110,472 had received a booster vaccine shot in England.

A total of 42,091,008 Britons had received two jabs.

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