Covid-19 infections continue to fall across UK

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Covid-19 infections are continuing to fall across the UK, data shows.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an estimated two million people in private households in the UK had the virus in the week to April 30, or May 1 in Scotland, down 32% from 2.9 million the previous week.

It is the biggest week-on-week drop since figures for all four nations were first reported at the beginning of November 2020.

This suggests around one in 35 people in England were infected, down from one in 25, and represents the lowest level in England since the start of the year.

Wales has seen infections drop for the third week in a row, with one in 25 thought to have the virus, down from one in 18.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Covid-19 infections have fallen for the sixth successive week.

Around one in 30 are thought to have had the virus in the week to May 1, down from one in 25.

In Northern Ireland, the figure was one in 40, down from one in 25.

The ONS figures are based on testing thousands of people at random across the UK whether they have Covid symptoms or not.

Sarah Crofts, head of analytical outputs for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “We continue to see a considerable reduction in infections across the UK, with rates at their lowest level in England since the start of the year.

“Despite this, infections remain high overall.”

This week NHS England figures showed that average daily hospital admissions in England of people with Covid-19 have dropped below 1,000 for the first time in two months.

The seven-day average stood at 877 on May 3, down 25% on the previous week.

Admissions are less than half of the peak of the Omicron BA.2 wave of infections, when they hit an average of 2,116 at the end of March.

The last time the number dipped below 1,000 was at the end of February, just after the initial Omicron wave.

The number of people in hospital in England with Covid-19 was 8,596 at 8am on Thursday, NHS England said, down 18% week-on-week and the lowest total since March 6.

Separate ONS figures showed that the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has risen for the sixth week in a row.

A total of 1,042 deaths registered in the seven days to April 22 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the ONS.

This is up 4% week-on-week and is the highest number since the seven days to February 11.

Deaths also increased by 4% in the previous week, but both figures will have been affected by the Easter bank holidays on Friday April 15 and Monday April 18, when very few deaths were registered.

It is likely the numbers would have been higher had the bank holidays not taken place.

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