UK Covid infections lowest since before Christmas as rates fall in London

·2-min read
Commuters in Westminster wear face masks  (REUTERS)
Commuters in Westminster wear face masks (REUTERS)

Covid infections across the UK are now at their lowest level since before Christmas, with rates also falling in London.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures released Friday showed there were an estimated 1.5 million people in private households with the virus in the week to May 7, down from two million the previous week.

By comparison, 1 in 50 were estimated to have the virus in London which was down from 1 in 40 the week before.

In England, infections fell for the fifth week running with 1.2 million people estimated to have tested positive for Covid which is the equivalent of about one in 45 people.

This is down from 1.6 million, or one in 35. It is the lowest estimate since the week ending December 16.

Wales has seen infections drop for the fourth week in a row, with around one in 35 testing positive, down from one in 25.

This is also the lowest since the week to December 16.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Covid-19 infections are now at their lowest since the week ending December 23.

About one in 35 infected, down from one in 30 in the previous week.

The virus is least prevalent in Northern Ireland where infections have dropped to their lowest level since early November.

One in 55 were infected there, down from one in 40.

The figures are an estimate, based on testing people in private households across the UK.

The number of people being admitted to hospital has also steadily declined, with 737 people admitted on May 8 - compared to 2,184 a month previously.

And the number of hospital patients with the virus in intensive care was just over 200, according to the most recent daily data.

It comes as another ONS survey found many of those previously advised to shield because they are clinically extremely vulnerable are continuing to take precautions to protect themselves.

In a survey, 13% reported continuing to follow previous shielding advice and 69% were no longer shielding but were taking extra precautions.

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