Covid infections in Wales fall for first time in seven weeks
The number of Covid infections in Wales has declined for the first time in seven weeks as the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics suggest the latest Covid wave may have peaked.
In the latest ONS infection survey, covering the seven days ending 20 July, the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 156,200, equating to 5.14% of the population, or around 1 in 19 people.
This is a fall of almost 15% from the previous week when 183,200 people, or around 1 in 17 people had the virus in Wales.
The figures for last week’s survey showed inflections levelling off after six weeks of rises.
An estimated 2.6 million people in England were likely to have had coronavirus in the week to July 20, the equivalent of around one in 20. This is down from 3.1 million, or one in 17, a week earlier.
In Scotland, 272,000 people were estimated to have had the virus in the most recent week, or around one in 19.
This is down from 340,900, or one in 15.
Northern Ireland is only UK nation to have seen a week-on-week rise in prevalence, though the ONS describes the trend as “uncertain”.
Infections here have increased to an estimated 113,400 people, or one in 16, up from 88,400, or one in 20.
The total number of cases across the UK have fallen for the first time in two months, though prevalence of the virus remains high.
Some 3.2 million people in private households in the UK are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to July 20, down 16% from 3.8 million in the previous week.
It is the first time total infections have fallen since the week ending May 28.
Sarah Crofts, ONS head of analytical outputs for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Our most recent data suggest that we may now be over the peak of the latest wave of infections across the UK, although rates still remain among the highest seen during the course of the pandemic.
“We have seen welcome decreases among most parts of the UK and in all age groups.
“With summer holidays starting and more people travelling, we will continue to closely monitor the data.”
The current wave has been driven by the BA.5 Omicron subvariant, which is now the dominant form of Covid-19 in the country.
High levels of coronavirus antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus remains low.
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