Covid cases remain high across the UK as 1 in 80 people are testing positive in England, latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show
Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
Covid cases remain high across the UK as 1 in 80 people are testing positive in England, latest figures reveal.
There were an 697,100 people with coronavirus in England as of last Friday September 11, according to a weekly survey published by the Office for National statistics.
That is a drop from the 754,600 and one in 70 recorded in the previous week.
At the peak of the second wave in early January, around one in 50 people in England were estimated to have coronavirus.
The survey also found the number of cases continued to rise in Wales with an estimated 49,100 people in Wales, or one in 60, estimated to have Covid.
One in 75, the equivalent of 25,000 people, were found to be positive to the virus in the same period in Northern Ireland.
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That goes up to 120,800 cases or one in 45 people in Scotland.
It comes amid calls for the government to launch its contingency winter plan for tackling Covid straight away as the UK recorded the highest rate of infections in Europe.
There were 26,911 new cases on Thursday, while according to research by the Zoe Covid app, the number of new daily symptomatic cases hit 47,276.
It prompted calls for the government to introduce its so-called ‘Plan B ‘ for the winter that would kick in if the NHS came under “unsustainable pressure”.
The plan, outlined in a 30-page government document outlining its strategies to tackle Covid in the coming months, is a toolkit of tougher measures to be introduce if the situation escalated.
Under the plan, masks would become mandatory in certain settings, and vaccine passports would be made a legal requirement for places like nightclubs, outdoor festivals and football matches.
Ministers will consider ordering people to work from if they can, and there will be public information campaigns to communicate the change of risk to the public.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, said: “If I was in charge – which I’m not – I would be saying to the Government ‘go straight to Plan B’.”
He told The Sun: “Don’t wait for the already creaking NHS and its poor staff that have been suffering for so long to go through further traumas.”
Meanwhile, the UK has launched its booster jab roll out, with millions in priority groups set to get their third dose in the coming weeks, starting with frontline health and social care workers as well as care home residents and staff.
In what has been branded the “biggest” immunisation programme in the history of the NHS, up to 4.3 million people are set to be called in for the boost, which will top up their level of immunity to Covid-19 as the winter looms ahead.
Only those who received their second dose at least six months ago are eligible for the third jab.
Those eligible for the first boosters are:
- Those living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 50 years or over
- Frontline health and social care workers
All those aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 (as set out in the green book), and adult carers
Adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individual