UK Covid infections are at record levels, but cases may have peaked


Britain was last week presented with two differing pictures of Covid-19’s spread across the country. Together they suggest infections have reached record levels since the pandemic began but have also raised hopes that the current high wave of cases across the UK may have peaked.

The first study is based on a random survey of households that showed about 1.28 million people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were infected with Covid-19 for the week ending 22 October, the highest number of infections to be recorded since the pandemic began in the UK. Carried out by the Office for National Statistics, this weekly survey is rated as the most reliable measure of British infection levels.

But a second analysis – based on Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) reports of new cases for the week ending 29 October – suggested there had since been a 14% decline in case numbers.