New Office for National Statistics data shows that 1.7million people were infected with coronavirus last week, with as many as five out of every hundred Londoner catching the virus

Coronavirus cases reached record highs last week

A record-breaking 1.7 million people in the UK had Covid-19 in just one week as Omicron continues to rip across the country.

The total is the highest since comparable figures began in autumn 2020, the Office for National Statistics said.

The percentage of people infected varies widely across the UK, with England topping the four nations with 2.83% testing positive between between 13 December 2021 and 19 December 2021.

Wales hit 2.3%, Northern Ireland 2.45% and Scotland the much lower figure of 1.5%.

The worst hit area in England was London, where one in 20 people caught the virus.

That total dropped significantly in the North East, where one in 55 tested positive.

The figures show just how infectious Omicron is, and now how widely spread the mutant strain has become in the UK.

Yesterday the country endured a record number of daily infections when more than 105,000 cases were reported in just one day.







One in every 20 people had Covid in London last week
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

On the positive side of things, Omicron appears to produce a milder form of the illness than previous forms of coronavirus.

There is a 20%-25% reduced chance of a hospital visit and at least a 40% lower risk of being admitted overnight with the new mutant strain than Delta.

The improved outlook was worsened significantly for those who are not vaccinated however.

More to follow.

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