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Covid infections continue to fall in Wales but trend ‘uncertain’

10 Feb 2023 2 minute read
Wales currently has the lowest rate of Covid infections in the UK

Wales continues to record the lowest estimated rate of Covid-19 in the UK but following three weeks of big declines the latest report from the Office for National Statistics describes the current trend as uncertain.

In the week ending 31 January, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 36,600, equating to 1.19% of the population, or around 1 in 85 people.

This is down just under six per cent from the previous week and follows falls of over 30% and 50% in the previous weekly surveys.

The current estimate is the lowest recorded since early September 2022.

Mixed picture

Across the UK there was a mixed picture with cases going down in Northern Ireland, up in England and the trend in Scotland also described as uncertain.

Covid-19 infections in England are up for the first time in five weeks after a surge in the run up to Christmas and the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is also starting to climb.

A total of 1.02 million people in private households in the UK were likely to have Covid-19 in the week to January 31, up 8% from 941,800 the previous week, according to the ONS.

Infections peaked at 3.0 million at the end of December, though this was well below the levels reached in previous waves, including in spring 2022 when the weekly total climbed to a record 4.9 million.

Around one in 65 people in England is estimated to have the virus, up from one in 70.

For Scotland, the estimate is one in 65, while for Northern Ireland it is one in 70.

Michelle Bowen, ONS head of health surveillance, said the data shows “a mixed picture across the UK”, adding it is “too early to say if these changes mark an overall change in recent trends in infections we’ve seen.”

The ONS infection survey is the most reliable measure of the prevalence of coronavirus and is based on a sample of swab tests from households across the country.

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