England's Covid-19 prevalence rises to highest since January

LONDON (REUTERS) – The prevalence of Covid-19 infections in England hit its highest level since the start of the year, reaching around one in 50 people in the week ending Oct 22, Britain’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Friday (Oct 29).

The prevalence of infections rose for a fifth straight week, having been at one in 55 people in the previous week, the ONS said.

Prevalence was last at one in 50 people in the week ending Jan 2, shortly before England began a third national lockdown.

Since then, a Covid-19 vaccination programme has largely broken the link between cases and deaths from Covid-19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he plans to tolerate rising cases without resorting to a new lockdown.

The latest ONS infection survey covers the week when Britain reported more than 50,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time since July. Since then, daily reported cases have dipped.

The ONS tries to estimate infection numbers in the community beyond those who have come forward to be tested, so it is unaffected by fluctuations in testing patterns.

The percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 in England remained highest among children.

The ONS estimated 9.14 per cent of older schoolchildren had Covid-19 during the week ending Oct 22. Many schools have been on holiday this week.

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