Covid infections set to rise again in ‘coming weeks’ ahead of winter flu season

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Covid infections could increase in the coming weeks as respiratory infections rise, the UK Health Security Agency has warned.

Cases of Covid-19 decreased in the first week of September, according to the latest data.

However, this comes as other acute respiratory infections are on the up slightly from 111 to 116 over the same period, with the highest number reported in care homes.

Hospital admissions with Covid have decreased week on week, according to the public health authority. Admission for Covid-19 was highest in the North East, with a rate of 6.71 per 100,000.

The news comes after hospitals were told to stop routine Covid tests for patients at the end of August.

Data from the ONS this week revealed deaths from Covid-19 had also fallen for the fourth week in a row, while excess deaths continued to be high.

Analysis by the ZOE Covid study showed Covid cases among those participating increased from 104,000 on 30 August to 116,586 on 6 September.

NHS England has officially begun its winter Covid job programme on 5 September beginning with all those aged over 75.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation and countermeasures at the UKHSA, said: “The latest Covid indicators provide more positive news, as Covid-19 case rates and hospitalisations continue to decline.

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“However, with respiratory viruses increasing in circulation in the winter months we can expect to see growing cases of Covid-19 in the coming weeks. We urge all who are contacted to come forward and accept their booster when called for their jab. The NHS booking system is now open for immunosuppressed people and those aged over 75.

“We also encourage everyone to keep helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.”

The news comes as NHS England figures revealed today that hospitals in England had more Covid-positive patients in them during this past summer than the two previous summers combined.

According to NHS England there were 8,479 patients in hospital with Covid-19 each day this summer. This is compared to 3,313 in summer 2021 and 2,032 in 2020.

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