UK Covid-19 infections jump 31% with ‘notable rise’ among elderly

Levels are still below the peak reached during this year’s summer wave caused by Omicron subvariants.

14 October 2022

Total Covid-19 infections in the UK have risen 31%, the biggest percentage jump since June, with most of the country now seeing a steady increase in virus levels.

There has also been “another notable rise” in infections among older age groups, who are seeing the highest rates of admission to hospital.

The figures come on the day that everyone in England aged 50 and over can now book an appointment to receive a fresh booster dose of coronavirus vaccine.

Some 1.7 million people in private households across the UK are likely to have tested positive for coronavirus in the period September 23 to October 3, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up from 1.3 million in the previous survey, which covered the period September 18 to 26.

It is the highest UK-wide total since late July, but is still below the 3.8 million weekly infections in early July, at the peak of the wave caused by the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

There is a lag in the reporting of the ONS data due to the time it takes for the survey to be compiled.

More recent figures show the number of people in hospital testing positive for Covid-19 is still on a clear upwards trend, though there are signs the rate of increase may have slowed in recent days.

Sarah Crofts, ONS deputy director for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Infections have risen again across much of the United Kingdom, continuing the pattern of steady increases seen over recent weeks, although Scotland and the north-east of England had uncertain trends in the latest week.

“We have also seen another notable rise in infections amongst older age groups in England and Wales, underlining once again the need for close monitoring as we move through the colder months.”

In England, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in the latest survey was 1.5 million, or around one in 35 people – up from 1.1 million, or one in 50, in the previous survey.

Wales has also seen a rise, where the latest estimate for infections is 74,900, or one in 40 people, up from 63,400, or one in 50.

The trend in Scotland is described by the ONS as “uncertain”, with 109,700 people likely to have Covid-19 in the latest survey, or one in 50, compared with 113,000 in the previous survey, or one in 45.

In Northern Ireland the latest estimate is 45,100 infections, or one in 40 people, compared with 46,100, which is also one in 40 – though the longer trend here is showing an increase.

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