One in 20 has Covid in UK, as infections increaseon July 15, 2022 at 2:13 pm

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UK infections up nearly 30% week-on-week, latest figures show.

Woman in a maskImage source, Getty Images

Covid infections have continued to climb across the UK, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Nearly 3.5 million people, or one in 20, has the virus – that’s up from 2.7m, or one in 25, the week before.

The rise is being driven by fast-spreading sub-variants of Omicron, called BA.4 and BA.5.

People are still able to catch the infection even if they have had Covid before.

The data is collated by testing thousands of people from UK households – whether they have symptoms or not – to estimate how much virus is around.

Covid infections

In the latest report the ONS estimates Covid rates were:

  • One in 19 in England – up from one in 25 the week before
  • One in 17 in Wales – up from one in 20
  • One in 17 in Northern Ireland – up from one in 19
  • One in 16 in Scotland – up from one in 17

Sarah Crofts, Head of Analytical Outputs for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “Infections are showing no signs of decreasing, with rates approaching levels last seen in March this year at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave.

“Rates have continued to increase across the UK and among all age groups. We will continue to closely monitor the data.”

Hospital admissions of people in England with Covid are also rising, but that increase is showing signs of slowing down.

The rate of admissions stood at 17.9 per 100,000 people in the week ending July 10, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

This is up from 15.7 per 100,000 the week before, but is the smallest rise for several weeks.

Vaccines are still doing a good job of helping protect people from getting very sick with the virus.

Dr Mary Ramsay, UKHSA director of clinical programmes, said: “We urge all those who are eligible for the spring booster to take up the offer as soon as possible.

“Anyone who has not yet had their first or second dose should also get up-to-date with their jabs to give themselves the best possible protection.”

Analysis box by James Gallagher, health and science correspondent

The Covid waves we’ve had this year have infected incredible numbers of people.

Go back to January 2021 and the highest number of people infected in the ONS weekly surveys was 1.2 million.

Already this year we’ve had a wave cap out at 4.9 million at the end of March and now one at 3.5 million and climbing.

And yet we’re seeing nowhere near the levels of severe illness.

The number needing ventilation in intensive care went above 3,700 in England alone in January 2021.

The equivalent figure now – in a much bigger wave – is just 274.

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