Omicron sub-variants drive Covid cases up for fifth week in a row – with 2.7m infected

COVID cases have risen again for the fifth week in a row.One in every 25 Brits is now infected with the bug, said the Office for National Statistics..

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COVID cases have risen again for the fifth week in a row.

One in every 25 Brits is now infected with the bug, said the Office for National Statistics.



A total of 2.7million people across the UK would have tested positive for Covid last week

Office for National Statistics figures show cases have risen five weeks in a row

A total of 2.7million people across the UK would have tested positive last week.

It is the highest figure for three months but experts say there are signs it should peak soon.

Hospital admissions are also on the rise and have doubled in a fortnight in four parts of England – the East, South East, Midlands and South West.

There are now 11,878 inpatients across England and 232 people in intensive care – a critical measure for ministers to watch.

Dr Mary Ramsay, from the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We continue to see Covid case rates and hospitalisations rise in all age groups.

“The largest increases in hospitalisations and ICU admissions are in those aged 75 and older. 



Case rates were highest in London and the North of England last week

“There is likely to be a substantial amount of waning immunity in older people who have not taken up the booster, so we can expect rises to continue throughout July.”

The new BA.4 and BA.5 strains of the Omicron variant are driving up cases.

But there are signs the surge is calming down – the most recent increase was just 18 per cent in a week compared to a 40 per cent jump in early June.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “There are hints that the current wave may be beginning to peak.

“The increase in cases appears to be slowing in the most affected regions, notably Scotland.  

“Hopefully next week’s data will confirm this trend.”

Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistics expert at the University of Cambridge, said the infection rate is “high but not as high as it has been”.

He added: “Hospitalisations have been rising steeply and they’re nearly at the level of previous peaks this year, but there are some indications they may be topping off.”