Wales the only UK nation where Covid infections are falling
Wales is the only UK nation where infections are currently falling, according to ONS figures.
The figures show that 86,100 people are likely to have had Covid-19 in the week to October 17, or one in 35, down from 117,600, or one in 25.
Scotland has seen levels rise, with 159,200 people likely to have Covid-19, the equivalent of one in 35, up from 144,400, which is again one in 35.
Northern Ireland has seen also an increase, where the latest estimate for infections is 53,700, or one in 35 people, up from 44,200, or one in 40.
Meanwhile, the ONS described the trend in England as “uncertain”.
In England, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 17 was 1.75 million, or around one in 30 people, compared with 1.71 million the previous week, which was also one in 30.
Across the nations of the UK, the most recent data shows the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is starting to fall, suggesting the current wave of the virus may have peaked.
The total number of people in private households in the UK testing positive for coronavirus stood at 2.05 million in the week to October 17, broadly unchanged on 2.01 million in the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is some way below the peak of nearly four million reached in early July, during the wave caused by the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants of the virus.
The rate of increase in UK-wide infections has slowed recently, with the latest total up just 2% on the previous week.
Kara Steel, ONS senior statistician for the Covid-19 infection survey, said the new figures show a “mixed picture”.
“Though infections appear to have slowed in England and are now declining in Wales, they are increasing in both Northern Ireland and Scotland,” she said.
“Infections are highest in those aged 50 and over in England, though there has been an increase in secondary school aged children.
“It remains too early to say from the data whether we are seeing a turning point in the level of infections – which remain high across the countries.”
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