Europe

Over 800,000 people in UK estimated to have contracted coronavirus

Rising concern over surging cases brought on by Delta variant, lack of restrictions

Muhammad Mussa   | 23.07.2021
Over 800,000 people in UK estimated to have contracted coronavirus

LONDON

More than 800,000 people in the UK are estimated to have contracted the coronavirus last week, according to an infection survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday.

The survey used mass sampling from all four of the UK’s nations to assess and analyze the virus's spread of the virus.

The ONS survey is seen as one of the best and most accurate guides in documenting the spread of the virus as official case numbers miss many people who are asymptomatic or simply do not get tested.

“In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in the week ending 17 July 2021; we estimate that 741,700 people within the community population in England had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 689,600 to 797,800), equating to around 1 in 75 people,” the ONS said in its findings.

“In Wales, the percentage of people testing positive increased in the week ending 17 July 2021; we estimate that 14,400 people in Wales had COVID-19 (95% credible interval: 9,500 to 20,500), equating to around 1 in 210 people,” the report added.

In Scotland, the number of people who tested positive for the virus also rose over the two weeks ensuing on July 17. As such 65,100 people are thought to have contracted the virus, equal to around one in 80 people. Similarly, in Northern Ireland, the number of people testing positive also increased, with 10,900 people contracting the virus.

Of the four nations, England and Scotland have greater case numbers and increased percentages of the virus. In total, 831,400 people across the UK are estimated to have contracted the virus in one week.

Despite the overall surge in cases, the ONS survey offered a small glimmer of hope in that cases may be starting to plateau, or level off, in the north-east and north-west of England, a region of the UK that has been hard hit by the now dominant and highly transmissible Delta variant.

On Friday, 36,389 people tested positive for the disease, and at the week beginning of July 17, some 309,742 people had positive test results. This is an increase of 11.4% when compared to the previous week’s data.

The UK reported 64 deaths on July 23 and on the beginning July 17, there have been 402 deaths -- a rise of 45.1% when compared to the previous seven days.

The number of vaccinations continues to increase as young adults are now viable for the jab. By the end of July 23, over 46 million people received their first dose of the vaccine, with over 36 million people their second.

On July 16, almost all coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England, making it the most unrestricted country in Europe. The two-meter (6.5-feet) social distancing rule has been scrapped, masks are no longer mandatory to wear except for in hospitals, care homes and public transport, while entertainment venues such as nightclubs have reopened their doors.

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