Latest COVID-19 headlines
- COVID-19 infections continue to fall across the UK
- Deaths due to COVID-19 increased between March and April 2022
- Around 99% of adults have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
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COVID-19 infections continue to fall across the UK
20 May 2022
The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to fall in every UK country in the week ending 13 May 2022.
In England, the percentage of people testing positive decreased in all age groups and regions, apart from the South East and South West, where the trend was uncertain in the latest week.
The estimated number of people living in private households (not in hospitals, care homes and/or other communal establishments) that had COVID-19 in the most recent week was:
- 1,037,400 people (1 in 55) in England
- 80,700 people (1 in 40) in Wales
- 29,800 people (1 in 60) in Northern Ireland
- 122,200 people (1 in 45) in Scotland
The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 fell in all four UK countries
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, UK, 16 May 2021 to 13 May 2022
- Explore the latest insights on coronavirus infections
- Read the latest results from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey
Deaths due to COVID-19 increased between March and April 2022
20 May 2022
The proportion of deaths due to coronavirus (COVID-19), out of all deaths that involved COVID-19, increased between March and April 2022 in England and Wales.
In England the proportion of deaths due to COVID-19 (out of deaths that involved COVID-19) increased from 63.0% in March 2022 to 64.2% in April 2022. During the same period in Wales, the proportion increased from 64.3% to 65.1%.
There were 42,944 deaths registered in England in April 2022, 2,200 deaths (5.4%) above the April five-year average, and there were 2,894 deaths registered in Wales, 113 deaths (4.1%) above the April average.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the third leading cause of death in April 2022 for both England and Wales, accounting 6.1% of all deaths in England and 5.7% in Wales. It was the sixth leading cause in March 2022 in both countries.
The leading cause of death in England in April 2022 was dementia and Alzheimer's disease at 10.9% of all deaths. In Wales, the leading cause of death was ischaemic heart diseases at 12.6% of all deaths. In both countries these are the same leading causes as in March 2022.
- Explore our latest coronavirus (COVID-19) insights on deaths
- Read our latest Monthly mortality analysis, England and Wales
Around 99% of adults have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
18 May 2022
In the week beginning 2 May 2022, 99.1% of adults in England and Scotland, and 98.9% of adults in Wales and Northern Ireland, had SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Additionally, in England 95.5% of children aged 12 to 15 years and 88.7% of children aged 8 to 11 years had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is the specific virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19). The minimum level of antibodies included in the data was 179 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml).
Further information on antibody test levels, and the link between antibodies and infections can be found in our recent blog post, The relationship between COVID-19 infections and antibodies: what do the data show? Antibody estimates for UK countries and English regions can be found in our Coronavirus (COVID-19) antibody data for the UK: dataset.
- Read the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: antibody and vaccination data headline bulletin
- Explore the Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights: Infections page
Deaths involving COVID-19 fall
17 May 2022
The number of deaths in the UK involving coronavirus (COVID-19) fell to 836 in the week ending 6 May 2022 (412 less than the previous week).
There were 11,307 total deaths registered in the most recent week, which was 4.7% above the five-year average (505 excess deaths).
Of the 9,941 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 6 May 2022, 735 (7.4%) mentioned "novel coronavirus". Of these 735 deaths, 64.5% (474 deaths) had this recorded as the underlying cause of death. This is down from 65.8% the week before.
The total number of deaths in England and Wales was 21.9% (510 excess deaths) above the five-year average in private homes and 1.8% (35 deaths) above in care homes. This week’s figure was 0.1% (6 deaths) below the five-year average in hospitals, and 11.5% (91 deaths) below in other settings.
Lower COVID-19 death rates among those who had booster jab
16 May 2022
Monthly age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) for deaths involving COVID-19 have been consistently lower for people who had a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine than for unvaccinated people.
The ASMRs were significantly lower than those for unvaccinated people, or those who had received a first or second dose of the vaccine, in all months since booster introduction in September 2021.
Those over 50 years who had received a booster at least 21 days ago had lower ASMRs in all months, compared with unvaccinated people. This has also been the case among younger age groups where rates can be calculated, although trends are now less clear due to lower mortality rates with larger confidence intervals.
Changes in non-COVID-19 mortality by vaccination status are largely driven by the changing composition of the vaccination status groups; this could be because of the prioritisation of clinically extremely vulnerable and people with underlying health conditions, and differences in timing of vaccination among people who were eligible.
Monthly age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) for deaths involving COVID-19 are consistently lower for people who had a third dose or booster at least 21 days ago than for unvaccinated people
ASMRs calculated for each month, by vaccine status, total and by age group, for deaths involving COVID-19, England, deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2022
Continued decrease in percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19
13 May 2022
The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) has continued to decrease in all UK countries in the week ending 7 May 2022.
- In England, an estimated 1,204,100 people tested positive for the virus, equating to 2.21% of the population or around 1 in 45 people.
- In Wales, an estimated 88,300 people tested positive for the virus, equating to 2.91% of the population or around 1 in 35 people.
- In Northern Ireland, an estimated 33,800 people tested positive for the virus, equating to 1.84% of the population or around 1 in 55 people.
- In Scotland, an estimated 158,200 people tested positive for the virus, equating to 3.01% of the population or around 1 in 35 people.
The percentage testing positive for COVID-19 continued to decrease across the UK
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs, UK, 1 May 2021 to 7 May 2022
- Explore the COVID-19 insights on infections
- Read the latest COVID-19 Infection Survey, UK: 13 May 2022
Most clinically extremely vulnerable people taking COVID-19 precautions
13 May 2022
Most people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable (referred to throughout as “CEV people”) to coronavirus (COVID-19) were continuing to take precautions to protect themselves.
Of CEV people in England, 13% reported continuing to follow previous shielding advice and 69% were no longer shielding but were taking extra precautions. The majority of CEV people (78%) felt that it should be the law for those who test positive to self-isolate and 59% felt that it should be the law to wear face masks in public spaces.
|Percentage who agreed with the following statements:||Total|
|It should be the law to self-isolate for those who test positive||78|
|It should be the law to wear face masks in public spaces||59|
|Those who have symptoms should continue to test||95|
|Reducing the recommended self-isolation period from 10 to 5 days was the correct decision||46|
|The removal of mandatory testing for international arrivals increases the risk of new variants entering the UK||87|
Download this table Opinions of people previously considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable.xls .csv
The percentage who were very or somewhat worried about the effect coronavirus is having on their life right now was statistically significantly higher (46%) than the general adult population of England (34%).
Meanwhile, more than half (59%) of respondents reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on them; whilst 11% reported a positive effect and 30% reported no effect. Additionally, a statistically significantly higher proportion of CEV people reported feeling lonely often or always, compared with the general adult population of England (10% and 6%, respectively).
- Read the latest insights on COVID-19 and lifestyle
- Read the coronavirus and clinically extremely vulnerable people in England bulletin
Black Caribbean ethnic group least likely to have had three vaccine doses
13 May 2022
The Black Caribbean ethnic group were the least likely to have had three coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination doses.
The proportion of people aged 18 years and over who received three vaccinations was highest for those identifying as White British (76%). The lowest proportion of people was in Black Caribbean (38%), Black African (45%) and Pakistani (45%) ethnic groups.
The proportion of adults who received three vaccinations was also lower for those living in more deprived areas, urban areas, or social rented housing; those who were not born in the UK or did not have English as a main language; those who have never worked or are long-term unemployed; those who are limited a lot by a disability; those who identify as Muslim or are male
- Read the latest insights on COVID-19 and vaccines
- Read the full bulletin on Coronavirus and vaccination rates in people aged 18 years and over by sociodemographic characteristic and region, England dataset