Covid infections FALL in Wales and Scotland but fresh warnings about Omicron spread

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Data published today by the Office for National Statistics’ Covid-19 infection survey shows coronavirus infections remained largely steady in Northern Ireland and England in the fortnight to December 1

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Coronavirus infections stayed steady in England and Northern Ireland and fell in the other two home nations, according to a new study.

Data published today by the Office for National Statistics shows a slight dip in infections in Wales and Scotland in the two weeks leading to December 1.

England and Northern Ireland’s figures remained largely steady, dropping very slightly.

At the end of November 898,900 people in England – or one in 60 – were testing positive for coronavirus.

That figure was 891,500 and around one in 60 a week later.

At the end of November those figures were 64,100 (one in 45) in Wales, 41,100 (one in 45) in Northern Ireland and 83,300 (one in 65) in Scotland.

Seven days on it was 60,300 (one in 50) in Wales, 39,300 (one in 45) in Northern Ireland, and 65,200 (one in 80) in Scotland.

Cases rose by 8% over the past week
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Image:

Alamy Live News.)

Although the rise has not been steady, overall the percentage of people infected across the UK has been going up since Autumn.

The latest case count update comes as the Omicron variant makes it way across the UK.

More than 800 cases of the mutant strain have now been confirmed in the country, with 249 new cases reported yesterday in a huge 24 hour rise.

Today’s ONS figures tracked a period after Omicron was first recorded in the UK, but may have analysed Covid data before its spread truly got going.

Although the strains’ symptoms are being reported as mild, compared to previous strains, some experts believe Omicron is infecting those who have been vaccinated.

Tim Spector is lead scientist on the Zoe study, which asks people to report their symptoms via an app which has been in place throughout the pandemic.

Mr Spector, who is a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said early indications “show that Omicron is breaking through in vaccinated people, but it’s causing milder cold-like symptoms”.

He added: “However, this is not a reason to be relaxed about Omicron.

“Covid is unpredictable and, even if most only feel like they’ve got a cold, there are far more long-term risks than a cold carries.”

Known Omicron cases in the UK rose above 800 yesterday
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Image:

Evening Standard / eyevine)

Scientists are particularly concerned about the new strain, as it has mutated in such a way that may allow it to get around vaccines.

It also appears to be more transmissible than previous versions.

Over the past week the number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by eight per cent, to 336,783.

In a bid to get those figures down, the Government has announced extra restrictions in England.

The mask mandate has been widened, the working from home guidance reintroduced and Covid passes brought in for the first time.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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