More than 600,000 people in UK had Covid last week, ONS data reveals

Hospital admissions have risen in Essex in the last week.
Infections continue to rise across the country. Credit: PA

More than 600,000 people in the UK are estimated to have had coronavirus in the most recent week, new figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

In the week from October 17 to 23, the number of coronavirus cases rose across the country as England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland grapple with rising cases.

In total, figures collected by the ONS predict there were 655,900 positive Covid-19 cases in the last week.

Figures suggest there are now 51,900 new infections per day, according to the ONS. This is in line with projection made by Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance in mid-September, where they said there could be 50,000 cases per day by mid-October.

Figures suggest there has been growth in all age groups over the past two weeks, with older teenagers and young adults continuing to see the highest rates.

The analysis, conducted alongside the University of Oxford, showed between October 17 and 23:

  • An estimated 568,1000 people in England had Covid-19

  • An estimated 37,400 people in Scotland had Covid-19

  • Around 26,100 people in Wales had Covid-19

  • Around 24,300 people in Northern Ireland had Covid-19

In total, around one in every 100 people were infected with coronavirus, or around one per cent of the UK population.

Data is taken from volunteers with the community population, meaning this excludes private residential households, hospitals and care homes.corona

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

In the latest two-week period, there were 242,726 swab tests, and a total of 2,058 positive tests, in 1,812 people from 1,423 households.

In England, the highest infection rates continue to be seen in the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber.

Infection rates are climbing in every part of England apart from the North East, where cases are levelling off but still remain above the national average.

The South East, South West and East of England have below average infection rates.

Wales is in the middle of a two week firebreak lockdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Credit: PA

Per person, Wales has a lower positivity rate than England, with around one in every 120 people testing positive for the disease.

Wales - which is currently in the middle of a two-week firebreak lockdown - has still seen a rise in cases, however the effects of its lockdown are not expected for a couple of a weeks after the lockdown.

However due to the relatively small number of tests and low number of positives in the ONS data, credible intervals are wide and results should be treated with caution.

Northern Ireland has the highest infection rate per person in the Uk, with around one in 80 estimated to have the virus.

Scotland fares better than the rest of the UK, with an estimated one in 140 infected with the virus.