Covid-19 infections in UK at lowest level for five months

Prevalence of the virus continues to decline in all four nations.

20 May 2022

Covid-19 infections in the UK have fallen to their lowest level for five months, though there are signs the rate of decrease is slowing, figures show.

A total of 1.3 million people in private households are estimated to have had the virus in the week to May 13, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 14% from 1.5 million the previous week and follows drops of 24% and 32% in the two previous weeks.

Total infections in the UK are now back to levels last seen in early December, when numbers had just started to rise due to the spread of the original Omicron variant.

Infections are now roughly a quarter what they were at the peak of the recent Omicron BA.2 wave at the end of March, when a record 4.9 million people were estimated to have Covid-19.

Prevalence of the virus has continued to decline in all four nations, the ONS said.

In England, infections have fallen for the sixth week running, with 1.0 million people likely to test positive for Covid-19, the equivalent of around one in 55.

This is down week on week from 1.2 million, or one in 45.

Wales has seen infections drop for the fifth week in a row, with 80,700 people estimated to have coronavirus, or one in 40, down from 88,300, or one in 35.

In Scotland, 122,200 people were likely to test positive for the virus in the seven days to May 13, or around one in 45.

This is down from 158,200 people, or one in 35, the previous week.

The virus continues to be least prevalent in Northern Ireland, where infections are at their lowest level since early November.

Some 29,800 people were estimated to have Covid-19 last week, or one in 60, down from 33,800, or one in 55.

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