Covid figures uncertain in Northern Ireland as cases in England rise
COVID figures in Northern Ireland remain uncertain due to low testing, while England has reported the highest levels since the start of this year.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), around 1.5 million people in private households across England were likely to have the virus in the week ending from March, up from 1.3 million the previous week.
This marks the last time that regular coronavirus estimates are being published, after a long-running infection survey that has been dubbed “the envy of the world” is being halted.
Any further monitoring of Covid-19 will be announced after a review to ensure it is “cost effective”, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
The figures in England are now the highest since 2.2 million on the week ending January 3.
Greater uncertainty was reported in Scotland and Wales because of a low number of samples, while too few samples were returned in Northern Ireland to produce a new estimate.
Around 136,200 people in Scotland were like to have Covid-19 in the week to March 13, around one in 40, compared to 105,100 or one in 50 the previous week.
In Wales, the estimate was 64,500, or one in 40, compared to 68,000 or one in 45.
The latest estimate for Wales is 74,500, or one in 40, compared with 68,200 or one in 45.
The biggest wave was reported in Spring 2022, with weekly infections in England hitting 4.9 million, followed by a winter peak in 2021/22 of 4.3 million.
With the survey halting, it means hospital admissions and death registrations will be among the few data sources left to track the virus.