Covid cases near peak of second wave as schoolchildren fuel rise

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Covid infection levels in England are approaching the peak seen at the height of the second wave and are being driven mostly by rates among school children.

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Overall, one in 60 people in private homes in England had Covid-19 in the week to 9 October, up from one in 70 the previous week.

One in 60 is equal to approximately 890,000 people. At the peak of the second wave in early January, nearly one in 50 were estimated to have the coronavirus


According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), nearly one in 10 students from school years 7 to 11 had coronavirus in the week to October 9.

When modeling the level of Covid-19 infection among different age groups in England, the ONS said the school years were 7 to 11 years, for people aged 50 to 69 and those aged 70 and over rates have increased.

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Rates have also increased for people aged 50 to 69, those aged 70 and older, and the school year are early signs of a potential increase for those aged 12 to 24.

In Wales, nearly one in 45 people were thought to have Covid-19 in the week to 9 October, up from one in 55 the previous week and the highest since estimates began in July 2020.

In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is one in 120, up from 130 last week, and in Scotland the figure is one in 80, down from one in 60 last week.

While infection levels are high in England, they are not leading to the same level of hospital admissions and deaths during the second peak because of the success of the vaccination campaign.

The spread of the virus is most prevalent in younger age groups who have not been vaccinated, or who have only been jab in recent weeks.

The ONS said the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is projected to increase in all regions of England except the East Midlands, London and the North East.

It came as NHS England said more than three million top-up Covid-19 jabs had been delivered in four weeks.

It said a total of 3.1 million boosters have been given, with two in five people age 50 and older coming forward.

More than a third of health and care workers who are eligible also have a booster vaccine.


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