United Kingdom

Covid cases are declining, but it’s too early to say whether the UK has peaked, experts say | Coronavirus

Coronavirus infections have fallen slightly in most of the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics, although experts analyzing the data say it is too early to say whether the infections have peaked.

ONS data, based on swabs collected from randomly selected households, show that in the week ending April 9, about 4.42 million people in the UK had Covid, about one in 15 people, compared to one in 13 a week ago.

Infections fell in England and Scotland from one in 13 to one in 14 and one in 17, respectively, but remained roughly stable in Wales, where for the second week in a row it is estimated that about one in 13 people has Covid. In Northern Ireland, infections have dropped from about one in 16 to about one in 19 people.

“Fortunately, infections have begun to decline in most parts of the United Kingdom. It is too early to say whether we have passed the peak of infections and overall infections remain high, “said Sarah Crofts, head of analytical results for the Covid-19 Infection Study. “We will continue to closely monitor the data that continues to move forward.”

Although data show that overall Covid levels in the UK have fallen from recent record levels, the situation varies not only between but also across countries.

In England, infection rates have fallen in the last week in the north-west, east of England, London, south-east and south-west. However, they have increased in the northeast, where they now have the highest share of people with a positive sample – 7.9%. In Yorkshire and the Humber, the East Midlands and the West Midlands, the trend over the past week is unclear.

In England, declines have been reported in most age groups; however, the trend for the week ending April 9 was unclear for students aged 7 to 11 and those aged 70 and over, with 7.2% of the latter believing to have had Covid in the last week, the highest level so far for this age group.

According to the latest hospital data, the number of patients with Covid in the hospital and those admitted seems to have peaked in the United Kingdom, with signs that both may be declining.

Data released Thursday by the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) show that hospitalizations in England fell from 21.19 per 100,000 population for the week of 28 March to 18.90 per 100,000 population for the week starting on April 4.

However, levels remain high: there were 15,399 Covid patients in a hospital in England alone on Wednesday, and experts say very high Covid levels are causing major disruption to the NHS, including delaying attempts to reduce the high levels of people in need of hospitalization. help.

The UKHSA report also sheds light on the Covid vaccination program, revealing that more than a quarter – 26.1% – of people aged 75 and over had received their spring booster vaccination, up from 15.3% the previous week. Figures include those who have applied for a third dose (first boost) since the program officially began on March 21, as well as those who received a second dose.