Covid cases have risen in the UK by more than 30% in the past week. The data shared by Office for National Statistics (ONS) based on swabs collected from randomly selected households showed 1,829,100 people in the community in England were infected with Covid, news agency The Guardian said in a report.
This meant one in 30 people caught Covid-19. The numbers also surged by 468,500 from 1,360,600 cases detected in the penultimate week in June.
The numbers also suggest that an estimated 2.3 million people may have suffered from Covid in late June in the UK.
The rest of the UK also reported a rise in infections. One in 18 persons in Scotland, one in 30 in Wales and one in 25 in Northern Ireland recovered or suffered in Covid in the most recent week.
Though the numbers are lower than the peak infection levels seen during the Omicron surge when one in 13 people caught Covid, the number of infections remains highest since April 2021 and highest recorded in the summer.
The most recent figures suggest that almost 3.35% of the population in the UK were infected with Covid-19 in the week which ended on June 24.
The officials highlighted that BA.4 and BA.5 – now dominant in the UK – are behind the surge in infections.
According to a report by news agency The Guardian, people hospitalized due to Covid-19 are also rising. Data accessed by the news agency from the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) showed a rise in hospitalisations from 2,165 on June 21 to 2,877 on June 28. These were patients primarily being treated for Covid.
If numbers of people brought to hospital who were detected with Covid whilst being treated for some other ailment, the number of hospitalisations rose from 6,401 in the penultimate week of June to 8,928 patients in the last week. There is also a spike in ICU admissions in elderly people belonging to the 75-84 age group.
Dr Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UKHSA, expressed concern and said the UK could be hit with a new wave of infections later this year.
“Our current planning assumptions are that we will see at least one wave [of Covid] in the autumn/winter period once we have got through the current wave that we’re in right now,” Hopkins was quoted as saying by news agency The Guardian, while highlighting that ‘this year will be even more challenging than normal’.
She urged people to get vaccinated and use masks and follow hand hygiene while sticking to Covid protocols if infected with the virus.