News, Culture & Society

Omi-gone: Summer Covid wave appears to be over already as ONS finds infections fell in England

Omi-gone: Summer Covid wave appears to be over already as weekly infections FALL 16% to 2.6million in England — but one in 20 still had virus

  • An estimated 2.6million people had the virus on any given day in England in seven days to July 20, says ONS
  • It marks first time infections have dipped since fifth wave took off at the start of June, fuelled by BA.4 & BA.5
  • Infections have also fallen in Scotland and Wales, but the ONS said trend was uncertain in Northern Ireland

Advertisement

The summer wave of Covid infections appears to have peaked already as data shows cases fell for the first time in nearly two months last week.

An estimated 2.6million people (one in 20) had the virus on any given day in England in the seven days to July 20, according to the Office for National Statistics, down 16 per cent on the previous week.

It marks the first time infections have dipped since the fifth wave took off at the start of June, fuelled by the new, highly transmissible Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

The rapid rise in weekly cases, which peaked at 3.1million in mid-July, prompted calls among some scientists and health bosses for light-touch restrictions to return again, including face masks, free testing and outdoor mixing.

It culminated in a health minister admitting measures could be re-imposed if Covid threatened the NHS’ ability to clear its backlogs. 

Sarah Crofts, head of analytical outputs for the Covid Infection Survey, said: ‘Our most recent data suggest that we may now be over the peak of the latest wave of infections across the UK, although rates still remain among the highest seen during the course of the pandemic.

‘We have seen welcome decreases among most parts of the UK and in all age groups. With summer holidays starting and more people travelling, we will continue to closely monitor the data.’ 

The ONS found infections also fell in Scotland and Wales in the most recent week, but the trend was uncertain in Northern Ireland. In England, cases dropped in every region except the North East. 

The summer wave of Covid infections appears to have peaked already as data shows cases fell for the first time in nearly two months last week. An estimated 2.6million people had the virus on any given day in England in the seven days to July 20, according to the Office for National Statistics, down 16 per cent on the previous week

Covid hospital admissions in England have been falling since the middle of this month, attributed to the fact that while BA.4 and BA.5 are extremely transmissible, they are just as mild as their parent strain.

Deaths — the biggest lagging indicator — have been rising slowly for several weeks but are still at a fraction of the levels of previous waves, with fewer than 100 daily fatalities in England among people with the virus.

An even smaller number died primarily from the disease. 

Meanwhile, around one in 19 people in Scotland were estimated to have the virus in the week to July 20, in Wales it was one in 19 and one in 16 in Northern Ireland. 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk