A survey of coronavirus infections across the UK has revealed that cases are no longer falling in some regions and may even be rising in parts of the country.
While new infections continued to fall in England and Wales in the week ending 13 March, cases appeared to level off in Northern Ireland and rose slightly in Scotland, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The survey, based on hundreds of thousands of swabs from households across the UK, found that about 160,200 people in England – equivalent to one in 340 – would test positive for coronavirus, compared with one in 270 for the week before.
The rate of decline in new cases slowed down in Wales over the same period, with 7,000 people now estimated to test positive for Covid-19 – or one in 430 – a change from one in 365 the week earlier.
More concerning are the latest swab results from Scotland, which indicate that 19,300 people – or 1 in 275 – would have had the virus in the week ending 13 March, up from 16,600 or one in 320 people the week before. In Northern Ireland, the number of new cases appears to have plateaued at 5,800 people testing positive, or one in 315 people, compared with 5,900 or one in 310 the week before.
“There is a mixed picture across the UK, with infections in England and Wales continuing to fall, levelling in Northern Ireland and showing early signs of an increase in Scotland,” said Sarah Crofts, a senior statistician on the survey.
More to follow …