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The Independent

Total Covid infections lowest in four months, though levels rise in children

By Ian Jones,


Total Covid-19 infections in the UK have dropped for the fourth week in a row and are now at a level last seen at the start of autumn 2022, figures show.

Infections are not falling across all age groups, however, with increases in England among primary and secondary school children and for 35-49 year-olds.

The recent drop in coronavirus patients in hospital has also come to a halt, as health experts said there were “concerning” signs the number may be starting to rise.

A total of 941,800 people in private households in the UK were likely to have had Covid-19 in the week ending January 24, down 15% from 1.1 million the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the lowest UK total since the week ending September 14 2022.

Infections peaked at 3.0 million at the end of December, following a surge in the run-up to Christmas.

This was below the levels reached in previous waves, including in spring 2022 when the weekly total climbed to a record 4.9 million.

Michelle Bowen, ONS head of health surveillance, said that while infections across the UK nations showed “an overall decrease”, there are “differing trends when we look across age groups”.

She added: “In England we have seen increases in school age children and those aged 35-49 years in the latest week, with decreases only seen in over-50s.

“We will continue to monitor the data closely to see how the situation evolves in the coming weeks.”

Covid-19 is most prevalent in Northern Ireland , where one in 65 people is estimated to have the virus.

For England and Scotland the estimate is one in 70, while for Wales it is one in 80.

Scotland’s estimate is the lowest the nation has seen in more than a year, since December 2021.

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