Britain battles fifth wave of Covid as summer infections surge

Covid-19 cases in hospitals have risen 37% in a week as Britain battles its fifth wave of infections

Covid-19 cases have skyrocketed across England after it was revealed the rate of people being treated in hospital for the virus had risen by 37%.

The NHS has released new data showing cases in hospitals rose by more than 2,000 in a week as Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5 spread through the population.

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It comes after rates in the four home countries have risen in recent weeks and the country is battling a fifth wave of infections, experts say.

Covid cases have risen again in the UK and the country is battling a fifth wave of infections. (Image credit: Getty Images)

How many Covid-19 cases are there in the UK?

Around 1.7 million people in the UK tested positive for coronavirus in the past week.

This is a 23% increase from the previous week.

There are currently 7,822 people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 in England, according to the NHS.

It was revealed that one in 20 people had the virus in Scotland in the week commencing 20 June.

During the same period, one in 30 in Northern Ireland had contracted the virus, while one in 45 in Wales had contracted Covid-19.

The first spike in cases came after major events, with experts identifying the Platinum Jubilee weekend as a contributor to the rising rates.

Other big summer events like the Glastonbury Festival, Notting Hill Carnival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are expected to push cases even higher.

Is Britain fighting a fifth Covid wave?

Professor Tim Spector, of the ZOE Covid Symptoms Study, said the rising rates mean the UK is currently in the midst of a fifth Covid wave.

Speaking to The Independenttent, he said: “We’re in a wave right now that’s heading towards a quarter of a million cases a day, that’s already a wave.

“Events like Glastonbury will push cases up, but the question is how much will they account for.

“We’ve relaxed everything that most people don’t think there’s a Covid problem right now, most people aren’t wearing masks or even worrying about cold-like symptoms.”

Professor Spector warned that the country could soon face a million cases a day, adding that the summer surge probably caught many people by surprise.

One of the main drivers of the increase is the new variants of Omicron, in particular the BA.5 variant.

What is the BA.5 Covid Omicron variant?

Despite rising cases, the BA.5 Omricron variant is believed to be no more serious than previous variants, but data suggests it is more easily transmissible.

However, the transmissibility of the virus can also be affected by declining immunity

BA.5 is believed to be able to re-infect those recently infected with Covid alongside the BA.4 variant.

As well as the usual signs of infection – fever, loss of taste or smell and a new and persistent cough – the NHS has updated its list of cold-like symptoms.

  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • headache
  • Sore throat
  • a stuffy or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • feel sick or be sick Britain battles fifth wave of Covid as summer infections surge


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