Covid-19 infections in the UK have risen by around 400,000, with the new Omicron BA.4 and BA continuing to increase.
Hospitalization numbers continue to rise, with early signs of increased intensive care admissions among the elderly.
A total of 2.7 million people in private households are estimated to have received it in the week to June 29, according to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures. In the previous week, there were around 2.3 million cases across the UK.
This is the highest estimate for total infections since late April, but is slightly below the 4.9 million seen at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave in late March.
ONS data shows that in the summer of 2020, less than 0.1% of people in England tested positive, while in 2021 it was 1.57%. Now it is 4%.
A recent report from the Covid ZOE analytics app shows that sore throat has now become the most reported symptom.
The ZOE Covid Study App allows infected individuals to report their symptoms when they are exposed to the virus.
The data provided is then analyzed by King’s College London researchers who track epidemics across the UK to identify who is most at risk and where the highest risk areas are.
Nearly 58% of all Covid patients who used the app reported a sore throat before they tested positive.
Headache, nasal congestion and cough are the next most common symptoms reported.
Professor Tim Spector, who leads the Joe Health study programme, said: “Covid is still widespread in the population. Data from ZOE Health showed there were more than 350,000 daily Covid cases this week – a new record for the UK.
“If you have cold symptoms now, it’s twice as likely to be Covid than cold.
“Even if people have had a past infection and are fully vaccinated, people still catch it.
“While we all want to make the most of the nice weather, people have to decide for themselves whether it’s worth going to big events, working in the office or using busy public transport.”
Sarah Crofts, ONS head of analytical results for Covid-19 infection research, said: “Across the UK, we have seen a continued increase of more than half a million infections, possibly due to the development of BA.4 and BA.5.
“This increase is seen across all age groups, countries and regions in the UK.
“We will continue to monitor the data to see if this growth continues in the coming weeks.”
Last week 312,800 people were infected with Covid-19, or one in 17 people with the virus in Scotland. This was up from 250,700, or one in 20 people, the week before.
In the UK, 2.1 million people may have had the virus last week, up from 1.8 million, equivalent to one in 25.
Infections in Wales rose to 149,700, or 106,000, or one in 30, up from one in 20. And 98,400 people in Northern Ireland have been infected with the virus, or one in 19 people.
Mary Ramsay, director of clinical programs at the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), said: “We continue to see an increase in Covid-19 data, case rates and hospital admissions in people aged 65 and over. Outbreaks in nursing homes.
“Now we see an increase in ICU admissions among the elderly.
“Vaccination is the best protection against serious illness and hospitalization. Covid-19 is not going away and we should all remember to maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene. Wearing a face mask in closed, crowded spaces is also prudent.
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