Yukon Weekly

COVID is at an all-time high in the UK, with nearly 5 million people infected

COVID infection in the United Kingdom is at an all-time high

Key Takeaways:

  • According to the Office for National Statistics, the coronavirus infected 4.9 million people in the week ending March 26, up from 4.3 million the week before.
  • More than 67 percent of people aged 12 and up in the United Kingdom have received their booster or third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

COVID-19 has reached record levels in the United Kingdom, with about one in every 13 people infected in the last week, as per the latest figures from the country’s official statistics agency.

The coronavirus infected 4.9 million people in the week ending March 26, up from 4.3 million the week before, as per the Office for National Statistics. The more transmittable omicron variant BA.2, the most common in the UK, is to blame for the recent surge.

Although the number of people dying from COVID-19 is still low compared to earlier this year, hospitalizations and death rates are rising again. Nonetheless, the most recent estimates show that the sharp increase in new infections that began in late February, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted all remaining coronavirus restrictions in England, continued well into March.

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The numbers were released on the same day that the government announced that most people in England would no longer be able to get free rapid COVID-19 tests as part of Johnson’s “living with COVID” plan. People who do not have a health condition that makes them more susceptible to the coronavirus must now pay for tests to determine whether or not they are infected.

“The govt’s ‘living with COVID’ strategy of removing all mitigations, isolation, free testing, and a significant portion of our surveillance amounts to nothing further than ignoring this virus going forward,” said Stephen Griffin, associate professor of medical school at the University of Leeds.

“Unchecked prevalence puts our vaccines’ protection jeopardy,” he said. “Our vaccines are excellent, but they aren’t silver bullets, and they shouldn’t be left to deal with COVID alone.”

COVID infection in the United Kingdom is at an all-time high
COVID infection in the United Kingdom is at an all-time high. Image from The Guardian

In the United Kingdom, more than 67 percent of people aged 12 and up have received their booster or 3rd dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Parents can now book a low-dose vaccine for their children aged 5 to 12 years old starting on Saturday in England.

Except for those who are completely immune or not susceptible to the virus, James Naismith, a biology professor at the University of Oxford, believes that most people in the country will be infected with the BA.2 variant throughout the summer.

“By being infected with the virus, you’re living with it,” he explained.

Source: CTV News

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