Wales records 29% increase in Covid infections
The number of Covid infections in Wales has increased for the second week in a row, according to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
The estimated number of people testing positive in Wales over the seven days to 3 December was 55,900, up almost 30% on the previous week.
The latest figures estimate 1.84% of the population were infected with the virus, an increase from 1.43% last week, or around 1 in 55 people.
Last weeks increase was the first recorded in Wales for seven weeks.
The number of infections has also risen in England and Scotland, while the ONS describes the current trend in Northern Ireland as uncertain.
Infections in England have risen for the third week in a row and stood at an estimated 1.1 million in the week ending December 5, the equivalent of one in 50 people.
This is up from 941,700, or one in 60, in the week to November 26 and is the first time infections are estimated to have topped one million since the end of October.
In Scotland, 100,700 people were estimated to have Covid-19 in the latest week, or one in 50, up from 88,500 or one in 60.
In Northern Ireland, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 stands at 38,700, or one in 45, compared with 36,700 in the previous survey, or one in 50.
The total number of people in private households in the UK testing positive for coronavirus stood at an estimated 1.3 million in the week to December 5.
This is up 16% from 1.1 million in the previous week.
The recent jump in infections is likely to be driven by people mixing more indoors, health experts said, and comes as other winter viruses such as flu are circulating more widely.
The latest figures suggest the UK is facing its third winter in a row with Covid-19 on the rise.
But unlike in 2020 and 2021, when coronavirus was the main driver of sickness and hospitalisations, this winter is seeing other viruses becoming more prevalent.
Flu is now “circulating widely” across the country, with a sharp increase in hospital cases last week, particularly among the over-85s and children under five, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, UKHSA consultant epidemiologist for immunisation, said: “We’re seeing rises in flu, Covid and other winter viruses as people mix more indoors.
“Covid hospitalisations are highest in the oldest age groups, so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible continues to come forward to accept their booster jab.
“While Covid-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities.”
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 UK.
There is a slight lag in the reporting of the data, due to the time it takes for the survey to be compiled.
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Time to go back to distancing and masks if we are to avoid Covid, ‘Flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). If you find folk avoiding you, they are probably vulnerable and trying to be sensible, so please be considerate of their desire for space.
If only they could animate that photograph of the Baroness of Health…