The Omicron wave of the coronavirus has now peaked, experts are now increasingly claiming. This seems to be supported by the latest Covid statistics released by the Government on January 21, which show the number of people testing positive for the virus has fallen alongside the number of patients admitted to hospital with Covid. But deaths within 28 days of a positive test are still climbing. Here’s a summary of the Government’s latest findings.
The number of people testing positive for Covid has sharply decreased in the last seven days, with just 95,787 daily cases reported on January 21 and a total of 646,835 cases in the last seven days.
This marks a significant fall of 27.3 percent in the last seven days, meaning the UK’s case rate is now 925.2 per 100,000 people.
The areas with the highest levels are North East, Yorkshire and Humber, and the West Midlands, with a rate of 1,418.8, 1,111.8 and 1,085.6 per 100,000 respectively. That equals case numbers of 38,036, 61,441 and 64,724 in the last seven days.
The highest case numbers however, come from London and the South East where 78,128 and 83,178 positive infections have been recorded in the past week.
Looking at the case rates per Upper Tier Local Authority, 74 areas have been identified as hotspots with a rate of more than 1,000 per 100,000 population. You can see the data in the chart below.
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Encouragingly most experts now believe the Omicron wave has peaked and is in decline. Professor Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, told the Independent: “The COVID-19 Omicron wave is currently receding in the UK, with number of cases having fallen sharply over recent days, and hospitalisations now following suit. The situation provides a case for lifting restrictions.”
Yet despite this good news, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says it has identified a new Omicron strain, which was first discovered in the UK on January 10, as a “variant under investigation”.
The agency said: “The Omicron variant sub-lineage known as BA.2 has been designated as a variant under investigation. The number of BA.2 cases is currently low, with the original Omicron lineage BA.1 still dominant in the UK.”
UKHSA added that “further analyses” of the new variant will take place. Incident director at UKHSA, Dr Meera Chand said: “It is the nature of viruses to evolve and mutate, so it’s to be expected that we will continue to see new variants emerge as the pandemic goes on. Our continued genomic surveillance allows us to detect them and assess whether they are significant.”
Vaccination uptake has also increased with 65,203 Britons being boosted on January 20.
This brings the percentage of those aged 12 and over who have received at least one dose of the vaccine to an impressive 90.7 percent, while 83.6 percent have been double vaccinated and 63.9 percent have received three vaccines.
Deaths and hospitalisations
Despite these positive statistics, the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test remains relatively high.
Tragically 288 daily deaths were reported on January 21 and 1,878 were reported in the last seven days, this equates to a worrying 0.5 percent increase.
But the number of patients admitted into hospital with Covid has fallen by 9.9 percent in the seven days leading up to January 17.
Here is a list of hotspot areas in full:
- South Tyneside 2460 1627.7
- Newry, Mourne and Down 2800 1541.3
- Sunderland 4274 1538.3
- Middlesbrough 2148 1520.3
- Peterborough 3080 1520
- Darlington 1555 1447.8
- North Tyneside 3020 1445.9
- Hartlepool 1352 1440.8
- Mid Ulster 2138 1435.4
- Stockton-on-Tees 2770 1403.1
- Telford and Wrekin 2524 1392
- Redcar and Cleveland 1893 1379.5
- County Durham 7349 1378.4
- Newcastle upon Tyne 4205 1370.5
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon 2921 1344.6
- Northumberland 4318 1333.5
- Gateshead 2692 1333
- Blackburn with Darwen 1979 1319.1
- Bradford 7128 1314.8
- Reading 2040 1272.3