Covid infections in Wales fall by over 50% in a week
The number of people in Wales with Covid-19 has fallen by over 50%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest weekly infection survey.
Over the seven days ending 17 January, 57,100 people were estimated to have Covid, a decrease of 53% from the previous week.
The latest data estimates that 1.85% of the Welsh population tested positive for the virus (down from 3.94% in the previous week), or around 1 in 55 people.
Covid-19 infections are also continuing to fall across the rest of the UK and are now at levels last seen before the start of the recent Christmas wave.
The number of people in hospital with the virus is also on a downwards trend, in further evidence the virus is becoming less prevalent.
A total of 1.1 million people in private households in the UK were likely to have had Covid-19 in the week ending January 17, down 39% from 1.8 million the previous week, according to the ONS.
This is the lowest total since late November.
Infections peaked at 3.0 million at the end of December 2022, following a surge in the run-up to Christmas.
This is below the levels reached in previous waves, however.
Infections climbed as high as 4.3 million last winter during the spread of the original Omicron coronavirus variant, but this was topped a few months later during the wave caused by the Omicron BA.2/3 subvariants, when the number reached a record 4.9 million.
Prevalence of Covid-19 is lowest in England, with around one in 60 people estimated to have the virus.
In Scotland the estimate is one in 55, the same as Wales, while for Northern Ireland it is one in 30.
The majority of current Covid-19 infections in the UK are the variant known as BQ.1, which is part of the Omicron family.
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.
It shows the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is highest among over-70s at 2.1%, or the equivalent of one in 48.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency, said: “Flu and Covid-19 levels continue to fall but winter is not over yet and we need to guard against further surges.
“Older people are still at the highest risk of being hospitalised for Covid-19, so it’s vital those eligible get their booster jab.
“Now is the time to come forward for a Covid-19 booster if you haven’t already – whether it’s your first or if you’re eligible for an autumn booster.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.