Covid infections in Wales fall to lowest level since early June
The number of people in Wales testing positive for Covid-19 is continuing to fall, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS’ latest weekly infection survey for the week ending 23 August, estimates the number of people testing positive for the virus was 47,300 equating to 1.56% of the population, or around 1 in 65 people, the lowest in the UK.
The figures for this week are down 28% from the previous survey, for the week ending 16 August, when the estimated number of people testing positive for Covid was 65,500, the equivalent of 2.15% of the population, or around 1 in 45 people.
The number of Covid infections in Wales has now declined for five straight weeks and is currently the lowest recorded since the week ending 11 June.
A total of 1.1 million people in private households in the UK are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to August 23, according to latest figures.
This is a drop of 25% from 1.4 million the previous week.
Infections hit 3.8 million in early July during the spread of the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus but have fallen in recent weeks.
Northern Ireland is the only one of the four UK nations where infection levels are estimated to have risen in the latest survey, with 35,800 people likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to August 23, the equivalent of around one in 50.
This is up from 26,400, or one in 70, in the week to August 16.
The latest estimate for people testing positive in England is 893,300, or one in 60, down from 1.2 million, or one in 45.
This is the first time the figure for England has dropped below one million since the week ending June 2.
For Scotland the latest estimate is 96,000, the equivalent of one in 55 people, down from 135,000 or one in 40.
Hospital cases also remain on a downwards trend, though health experts have warned the virus is likely to become more prevalent in the autumn and winter.
Kara Steel, ONS senior statistician for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “We will monitor the data closely to understand the impact of schools returning across the UK.”
Earlier this week, the roll-out of the autumn Covid-19 booster got underway in Wales with care home residents and staff the first to receive the vaccine on the 1st of September.
The new booster jab will be offered to everyone in Wales aged 50 and over, as well as those with underlying health conditions, to increase protection ahead of the future waves of the virus.
As part of the Welsh Government’s winter respiratory vaccination strategy, people who are eligible for the Covid jab are also being urged to take up the flu vaccine when offered.
In line with advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), eligible adults aged 18 and over will initially be offered the Moderna vaccine which protects from both the original Covid virus and the Omicron variant.
The UK became the first nation to authorise the vaccine, described as “next generation” by experts, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved it on last month.
Those eligible aged under 18 will be offered the Pfizer vaccine. Both vaccines will be offered at least three months after a previous dose.
Everyone who is eligible for the autumn booster will be invited for vaccination by their health boards.
Invitations will be issued in order of vulnerability, with everyone eligible being offered a booster vaccine by December.
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