Wednesday, September 28, 2022

COVID-19: Infections increase for the first time in two months in Britain

According to the latest data, the cases of COVID have increased for the first time in two months.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the spike is likely due to an increase in cases compatible with the original Omicron variant BA.1 and the new variants BA.4 and BA.5.

A total of 989,800 people in private homes are estimated to have contracted the virus – up from 953,900 last week.

It is the first time total infections have increased week-on-week since late March, when the number hit a record high of 4.9 million at the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave.

Infection increased in all four countries

All four countries have seen an increase in infections, although the ONS describes the trend in Scotland and Wales as “precarious”.

The ONS tweeted on Friday that an estimated one in 70 people in England (not including hospitals, care homes or communal establishments) had COVID as of 2 June this year – the equivalent of 797,500.

According to data from the COVID Infection Survey, one in 40 (124,100) in Scotland were likely to have had the virus last week – up from 105,900, or one in 50.

In Wales, one in 75 in Wales has tested positive, the equivalent of 40,500 – a slight increase from 39,600.

Infections in Northern Ireland rose for the second week in a row to 27,700 people or one in 65 – from 24,300 to one in 75.

The ONS said, “In all four UK countries, the percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 compatible with Omicron variants BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 increased in the week ending 2 June 2022. “

There has been an increase in positive cases among people aged 35 to 49 – with early signs of an increase in year 12 schoolchildren up to age 24.

The percentage of people who tested positive dropped among those aged 50 to 69 and those over 70 in the fortnight leading up to June 2.

Omicron BA.1 is the parent form of Omicron, which saw transitions across the UK in December and early January this year.

New variants may dominate

The newer versions, BA.4 and BA.5, were recently classified as “anxiety type” by the UK Health Protection Agency (UKHSA).

Scientific analysis found that the strains are likely to have a “growth advantage” over B.A.2, which remains the dominant strain.

Preliminary research indicates that the BA.4 and BA.5 variants have a degree of “immune escape” – meaning the immune system can no longer recognize or fight the virus.

UKHSA stated that this is likely to have contributed to their dominance over the BA.2.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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