According to mass tests, coronavirus cases in England, with 646,000 infected people in the past week, rose to pre-lockdown levels
- The Office for National Statistics report estimates that between December 12 and December 18, 645,800 British people were wearing Covid
- Marked 14 percent more than last week and 34 percent more than a fortnight ago when the lockdown ended
- According to the ONS, half of all new cases are the highly infectious mutant strain of the virus that has emerged in the southeast
The number of people with coronavirus in England rose last week to pre-second levels, with nearly 646,000 people suffering from the disease, official figures show.
A report by the Office of National Statistics today estimated that between December 12 and December 18, 645,800 Brits were infected with Covid, which is one in 85 people.
It was a 14 percent increase from the previous week and a 34 percent increase from two weeks ago when the fall lockdown ended in the first week of December.
Half of all new cases, according to the ONS, were the highly infectious mutant strain of the virus that emerged in south-east England in September.
His report found that London had become the country's Covid hotspot in the past week. By December 18, one in 45 Londoners had the disease.
Just a day later, Boris Johnson scrapped Christmas mix plans for those living in the capital, causing thousands to flee London for lower parts of the country that evening.
There are now fears that the mass exodus may have helped spread the new strain – which is believed to be at least 60 percent more contagious than regular Covid – across the country.
The number of people with coronavirus in England rose to pre-second levels last week, with nearly 646,000 people infected
The ONS report reads: “Over the past week, the percentage of people who test positive for the coronavirus in England has continued to increase. In the past week (December 12-18, 2020) an estimated 645,800 people in the UK community population had the coronavirus, which is about 1 in 85 people.
& # 39; Over the past week, the percentage of people who test positive has continued to increase sharply in London, the East of England and the South East. London now has the highest percentage of people who test positive. & # 39;
All age groups have seen an increase in infection rates, with the exception of those aged 70 and over, who have "early signs" of decline, according to the report.
Secondary school children continue to have the highest infection rates of all age groups. In the week leading up to December 18, at least one in 35 teenagers is infected with the virus.
It comes amid fears that the new strain of the virus will make children more susceptible to Covid-19 infections. Children were very unlikely to test positive for previous strains of Covid – which was unusual as many viral infections like flu are more easily transmitted in teenagers – and it was extremely rare for anyone under the age of 16 to develop symptoms.
The percentage of those of all ages who tested positive also rose sharply in the past week in Wales, where the ONS infected an estimated 52,200 people with the virus, which is one in 60 people.
Health chiefs there believe the mutated strain of the virus is increasing its rate of infection, although not as many cases have been officially discovered.
In Northern Ireland, an estimated 10,100, or one in 180, had the virus in the week leading up to December 18 and 37,100, or one in 140 in Scotland.
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