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Covid-19 infections rise in England and Wales for first time since early July

The number of people in hospital with the virus is also showing early signs of a rise.

23 September 2022

Covid-19 infections in England and Wales have risen for the first time in two months, new figures show.

The increase means the total number of infections in the UK has also gone up – though levels are estimated to have fallen in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Some 927,900 people in private households in the UK are likely to have tested positive for coronavirus in the week ending September 14, up 5% from 881,200 in the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The increase brings to an end a steady fall in UK-wide infections since early July, when the total hit 3.8 million at the peak of the wave caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

The figures come as the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is showing early signs of a rise.

Sarah Crofts, deputy director for the ONS Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Today’s data show a mixed picture across the UK, with increases in England and Wales while infections in Scotland and Northern Ireland have decreased.

“It is too early to see if these changing trends will continue, and we will monitor the data closely to see any impact of the return of schools over the coming weeks.”

In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus in the week to September 14 was 766,500, or around one in 70 – up from 705,800, or one in 75, in the seven days to September 5.

Wales has also seen a rise, where the latest estimate for infections is 39,700, or one in 75 people, up from 28,200, or one in 110.

Scotland and Northern Ireland have both seen a fall, however.

In Scotland, 98,800 people were likely to have had Covid-19 in the latest survey, or around one in 55 – down from 113,500 or one in 45.

And in Northern Ireland the estimate is 22,900, or one in 80 people, down from 33,700, or one in 55.

Infections are estimated to have risen in north-east England, London, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and The Humber, while falling in south-east England.

The trend in all other regions is described by the ONS as uncertain.

Among age groups in England, the percentage of people testing positive is estimated to have increased for children from school Year 7 to Year 11, and for 25-34 year olds.

In all other groups, the trend was again described as uncertain.

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