New ONS data shows record fall in Covid-19 infection rates

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New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a record fall in Covid-19 infection rates. 

The latest data from the ONS suggests that approximately 2.87 million people in the UK would have tested positive for Covid in the week ending 23rd April. This represents a record decrease of 900,000 cases in one week. 

The statistics revealed that case numbers are falling across all age groups in England, Scotland and Wales and rates are stable in Northern Ireland. Across the four nations, 1 in 23 people would have tested positive. This equates to a 24% fall from 1 in 17 people during the previous week. 

Despite the positive figures, Covid case numbers remain very high. Kara Steel, senior statistician at the ONS, explained that the recent data is not yet indicative of a wider trend and experts are keeping a close eye on the numbers. 

The fall in cases represents the largest decrease since the ONS started keeping Covid records in July 2020. The survey provides an accurate picture of the prevalence of the virus by conducting random testing across tens of thousands of UK households. 

The most recent data shows that during the week ending April 23rd, 1 in 25 people in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would have tested positive for Covid-19. One in 18 people would have tested positive for the virus in Wales. The figures for England show that infection rates are highest in the North East (6.1% positivity rate) and lowest in London (3.6%). 

Infection positivity rates have fallen to 5% in over 70s in England and 2% in children aged 2-10. Hospitalisation rates are also coming down. The latest statistics show that there are around 1,450 admissions per day. The number of people in hospital who require a ventilator is currently approximately 325.