UK Covid-19 infections fall for second week in a row

The ONS said prevalence of the virus has declined among all age groups.

05 August 2022

Covid-19 infections in the UK have fallen for the second week in a row, in a fresh sign the current wave of the virus has peaked, new figures show.

The number of patients in hospital with the virus is also on a clear downwards trend.

A total of 2.6 million people in private households are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 25/26, down 19% from 3.2 million in the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Infections have now dropped by more than a million in the space of a fortnight.

Dr Rhiannon Yapp, co-lead for the ONS Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Our most recent data suggests that infection rates have continued to decrease across much of the UK, although rates still remain high.

“We have seen continued decreases in all regions and age groups in England. With the summer holidays and more people travelling, we will continue to closely monitor the data.”

The latest wave has been driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the virus and saw weekly infections climb as high as 3.8 million in early July.

This was not as steep as the record 4.9 million infections at the peak of the BA.2 Omicron wave in late March, however.

High levels of coronavirus antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus remains low.

Some 2.1 million people in England were likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to July 26, the equivalent of around one in 25, the ONS said.

This is down from 2.6 million, or one in 20, a week earlier.

Wales has seen infections fall to 108,800, or one in 30 people, down from 156,200, or one in 19.

In Scotland, 260,800 people were estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 26, or around one in 20.

This is down slightly from 272,000, or one in 19.

Northern Ireland is the only UK nation where the ONS describes the trend as “uncertain”.

Infections here have dropped very slightly to 109,800, or one in 17, down from 113,400, or one in 16.

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