Public health is still being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with infection rates in the UK rising recently. According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 3.5 million Britons tested positive for COVID-19 during the first week of July, which is a 30% increase from case estimates from the prior week (ONS).
Based on swabs taken from randomly chosen households, the ONS statistics revealed that during the week of the 6th July, an estimated 2,873,600 people in England tested positive for COVID-19, or roughly 1 in 19 people. In contrast, 1 in 25 persons or around 2,154,000 people were infected the week prior.
Other regions of the UK also saw a rise in infection rates; according to the most recent data set, 1 in 16 persons in Scotland and 1 in 17 people in Wales and Northern Ireland are considered to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Factors Contributing to Rising Infection Levels
The coronavirus Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are thought to be to blame for the rise in infection rates. According to the UK Health Security Agency, these quickly disseminating subvariants currently account for more than half of new COVID-19 infections in England.
However, there are a variety of additional causes that could be behind the growing infection rates. Rowland Kai, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Edinburgh, claims that these variables include increasing inter-individual contact, a larger distribution of variations, and a drop in vaccine-induced immunity. Additionally, even if a person recently tested positive for COVID-19, they may still be susceptible to infection from newer versions.
Call for Return of COVID-19 Controls
Hospitalizations have increased along with infection levels, leading some medical professionals to advocate for the reinstatement of COVID-19 control measures. Hospitalizations increased from 2,165 on June 21 to 4,693 on July 12, according to data from NHS England.
The UK government has already made arrangements for a COVID-19 booster shot in the fall, even though it hasn’t yet implemented any new control mechanisms. Everyone 50 years and older will be provided with a COVID-19 booster shot in order to strengthen protection against respiratory viruses in time for the upcoming winter, in addition to vulnerable populations.
Next Steps for COVID-19 in the UK
According to ONS data, the UK’s COVID-19 death toll has now surpassed 200,000, making it the worst-performing European nation outside of Russia. Our business insurance clients may be mulling over re-introducing Covid risk management measures. The above figure represents the seventh-highest death toll in the world due to rising infection levels. These statistics, according to professor and British Medical Association council chair Phillip Banfield, show why it’s critical to keep up COVID-19 measures.
“This terrible loss of life must serve as an important reminder that COVID-19 has not gone away and remains a serious threat to public health”Phillip Banfield – Professor and council chair of the British Medical Association
As they see fit, individuals and companies may choose to implement their own preventive measures, such as using masks and conducting routine testing.