Covid spike peaks at one of 13 record levels

One in 14 people in the oldest age group is thought to have contracted the virus in the UK in the week to April 2. In the worst rates seen in the 25 to 34 age group, one in 12 has been infected. .

But the Office for National Statistics’ latest virus survey offers hope that the increase in cases has stalled.

Around 4.1 million – one in 13 people – are estimated to have been infected in the UK, reflecting last week.

Cases have decreased slightly in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with only a small increase in females.

Sarah Crofts, head of analysis for the survey, said: “Although infection rates remain high, there are early indications in our latest data that they may not be. increased in some parts of the UK.

“It is too early to say whether infections will peak in England and Scotland. We will continue to monitor the data closely.”

However, Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, seems cautious.

He stressed that the number of people infected was still the highest on record, saying: “Infections may be decreasing in the UK, but there is a long way to go before I feel comfortable with the situation.

“There are many reports of disruption simply because more people have to go to work because of illness.

“Most of them will recover before it’s too long and I hope there won’t be any long-term consequences.

“But all this sickness can’t be good for the economy.”

Professor McConway added: “Learning to live with Covid doesn’t mean not paying attention to it.” Meanwhile, the NHS celebrated another major vaccine milestone after giving more than 120 million shots in the UK.

More than 32,000 people have also received Covid antiviral drugs that can be taken at home.

The drugs are being made available to patients with underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe cases of the coronavirus.

About 6,000 people received Paxlovid, which trials have found reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 88%.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Both of our breakthrough antiviral drugs – molnupiravir and Paxlovid – are available to those most vulnerable to the virus directly through the NHS.

“It is amazing to see 32,000 patients reap the benefits.”

NHS national chief medical officer Professor Stephen Powis said: “Every person and every person being treated with new medicines is testament to how the NHS is doing everything it can to protect those at risk. tallest”.

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