An interactive map shows the parts of the UK seeing the biggest rise in Covid cases as a new wave led by Omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5
Image: (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images))
A worrying interactive map has been released showing the Covid red zones, where cases are rising in the UK amid a new wave of the virus.
Cases rose 43% in England last week, with renewed increases expected to last into late summer or early autumn.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) weekly survey suggests 1.4 million people were infected on any one day in the seven days ended June 10.
That’s one in 50 — the biggest weekly increase since late December last year, when Omicron wreaked havoc on New Year’s celebrations.
Wales and Northern Ireland saw one in 45 and Scotland one in 30 over the same period.
The resurgence appears to be driven by Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are believed to be more easily transmissible than BA.2, the current dominant strain in the UK.
Use the map here:
An expert told the Mirror this week that the bank holiday’s platinum anniversary celebrations may have contributed to the current surge.
However, he said it was too early to say if we would see a corresponding increase in hospital admissions.
The ONS survey is now the government’s main official surveillance program to track the virus post-pandemic.
The interactive map shows most of Scotland is in the deepest red, with an average infection rate of 3.4-3.6% – with a national equivalent of 2%, or one in 30.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people testing positive across all age groups in England except the North East rose last week.
The South East recorded the highest rates, with an estimated 2.4% infected at some point.
In the West Midlands, South West and London it was 2.2%.
In Yorkshire and the North West (both 1.9%), the East of England and the East Midlands (both 1.8%) – compared to the average of 2%.
AFP via Getty Images)
In Wales the estimated number of infected was 64,800 (2.13%) or one in 45, and in Northern Ireland it was 42,900 or one in 45.
The prevalence of BA.4 and BA.5 is roughly doubling every week, according to data from the Sanger Institute.
Both strains combined accounted for 41.7% of cases in the week ended June 4.
UKHSA Director Dr. Mary Ramsay said: “After a period of low case numbers, we are now seeing an increase in outbreaks in care homes and in hospitalizations in people aged 80 and over.
“As we get into summer it’s still important to remember that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and to get vaccinated to reduce your risk of contracting the virus seriously.
“If you’re not up to speed with your jabs, please get in touch now – it’s not too late to get protected.”
dr Simon Clarke, associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, previously said that BA.4 and BA.5 – which were first identified in Africa in January and February – are likely to eventually become the main strain in the UK.
He told the Mirror on Wednesday: “As it is [Covid] will continue to evolve increases portability.
“There used to be a lot of chatter about increased transmissibility, meaning it’s less lethal. That is absolutely not true. The lethality thing is something that could go either way.
“It could become less deadly, but it’s certainly not a guarantee.”
Video not available
But he said it was unlikely there would be another lockdown unless there was a “leap in the biology of the virus” and it had become more resistant to immunity or more aggressive in causing disease.
“There will be more infections, I would expect there would be waves of people being unwell, sort of a mass disease,” he said, describing a worst-case scenario.
“And there may be an increase in people ending up in the hospital.”
He continued, “Not all hospital admissions are created equal and that needs to be recognized.”
He said even in the worst-case scenario with Omicron, unless this changes drastically, the mass disease will cause problems for hospitals, “but they’re not unsolvable problems, they can deal with them.”
“The problem comes when you start filling critical care,” he added.
dr Clarke said it’s “quite possible” that the latest wave could continue to increase over the summer, but if the weather is good and people spend more time outdoors “that should mitigate some of the impact”.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/worrying-interactive-map-shows-uk-27265093 Worrying interactive map shows UK's Covid red zones, where cases are rising in the NEW wave