Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-03-23 Origin: Site
More than 3.25 million people in the UK, or about 4.8% of the total population, were infected with Covid-19 in the week to March 12, according to the latest figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), Sky News reported. At the start of the year, around 6.3% of the UK population was infected with Covid-19, by the end of February that figure had dropped to 3.5%. And now, it's rising again, by more than 30%.
Masks, testing, self-isolation and social distancing have all disappeared since Plan B was scrapped in late January, according to the ONS Lifestyle Survey. The social connection of the British public has increased.
ONS figures also show that only a third of adults are now concerned about the virus, the lowest level at any stage of the pandemic.
More relaxed behavior provides more opportunities for the virus to spread, but perhaps more importantly, the dominant virus is changing. This is a key driver of rising infection rates.
At the beginning of the year, nearly all infections were caused by the original Omicron strain replacing Delta.
But since mid-February, cases of infection with the omicron subtype mutant BA.2 have been increasing dramatically. As of March 5, it accounted for 75% of all cases.
While the vaccine is equally effective against them, both cause the same relatively mild disease. But BA.2 was 1.4 times more infectious than the original Omicron strain, which led to a surge in cases. The rapid spread of BA.2 has affected hospitals. Hospitalizations are also rising sharply. But it's worth noting that the rise in infections and hospitalizations started at the same time around February 25. Normally, it takes one to two weeks from infection to serious illness. This suggests that many patients will come to wards with the virus as hospitals deal with backlogged waiting lists. And that's a distraction for hospitals because they have to treat positive patients individually. And the virus infection rate among medical workers will also increase, which will further increase the pressure on the medical system. This will not only affect the NHS, but also the wider economy.
The National Health Service (NHS) announced on Sunday that a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine would be available to millions of people in England from Monday as cases surged.
The fourth dose of the vaccine will be given to seniors 75 years and older and immunocompromised people 12 years and older. In total, about 5 million people will be eligible for vaccination, and 600,000 people have already made appointments for this week.
On March 19, local time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We are preparing for the fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine because we will need it."
The number of Covid-19 hospitalisations in Scotland has reached its highest level since the onset of the pandemic, and two regions in England have seen the same.
The latest figures show there are now 2,128 people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Scotland, up from a previous peak of 2,053 in January last year.
The figures come after Scotland lifted most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions.
Last week, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that laws requiring masks on public transport and some other occasions in Scotland would not be lifted as planned due to a surge in confirmed cases.
Across the UK, 14,948 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised on March 18, a 22% increase from a week earlier. That's still down from 20,047 at the UK's most recent peak on January 10.
An estimated 1 in 14 people in Scotland contracted Covid-19 in the week to March 12, up from 299,900 in the previous week, or 1 in 18.
The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in two parts of England has reached its highest level in more than a year.
The south-east and south-west of England have simultaneously recorded the highest number of Covid-19 hospitalisations since February 2021, surpassing the peak reached earlier this year when infections surged.
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