Wales records first increase in Covid infections for seven weeks
The number of Covid infections in Wales has increased for the first time in seven weeks, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
The ONS’s latest weekly infection survey has estimated that 43,400 people had Covid-19 in Wales over the week to November 24, or one in 70, compared with 39,600 in the week to November 22, or one in 75.
Despite the small increase the infection rate in Wales is the lowest in the UK, however the trend is described as “uncertain”.
Wales was the only country to record a fall in infections in last week’s survey.
Infections are thought to have risen in England and Northern Ireland in late November, while the trend is also unclear in Scotland.
The number of people testing positive for coronavirus in England in the seven days to November 26 was 941,700, or around one in 60 people, up from 873,200 in the week to November 21, which was also one in 60.
In Northern Ireland, an estimated 36,700 people had Covid-19 in the seven days to November 23, or one in 50, up from 28,900 in the week to November 21, or one in 65.
Scotland is likely to have had 88,500 people with coronavirus in the week to November 24, or one in 60, compared with 91,100 in the week to November 21, which was again one in 60.
But there is greater uncertainty than usual in the estimates, as well as a longer time lag in reporting the data, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is due to a low number of Covid-19 test results received by the ONS, “possibly” as a result of industrial action by postal workers.
“For all UK countries, some results may have more uncertainty and be subject to change as more test results are received for this period”, the ONS said.
The total number of people in private households in the UK testing positive for coronavirus stood at 1.1 million across the period November 17 to 26.
This is up from 972,400 in the week to November 15.
During the previous wave of infections in early autumn, the total peaked at just over two million in mid-October.
This was well below the peaks seen earlier in the year, when infections climbed to nearly four million in July and just under five million in March.
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.
But because the amount of test results received by the ONS is lower than usual, the new estimates cover different periods in the four nations and need to be treated with caution.
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