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expert reaction to latest stats from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey, UK: 29 July 2022

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), have released the latest data from their COVID-19 Infection Survey.


Prof James Naismith, Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, and Professor of Structural Biology, University of Oxford, said:

“It is encouraging to see that the latest wave of covid19 is falling backwards, with prevalence dropping across the UK.  A large number of people (around 5 in every 100) showed an infection in the week ending 20th July.  It will have fallen further since then.

“We have to hope that the incidence of long covid from this wave will be lower than in the first and second waves.  The vaccines have proved extraordinarily effective at lowering serious illness and deaths.  They are less effective at preventing infection, but for those not vaccinated, the virus remains dangerous especially the medically vulnerable and elderly.  Many people have had multiple bouts of covid19, being infected does not give a magical immunity.  Vaccination is by the far the safest way to protect oneself against serious illness.

“This wave put the health service under significant pressure which also appears to be easing.  I support continuing efforts to develop new medicines, improved vaccines and to enhanced ventilation.  These will decrease the disruption these waves cause and the number of long covid19 cases.”


Prof Paul Hunter, Professor in Medicine, UEA, said:

“As expected, today’s ONS prevalence survey has shown a decline in infection rates in the UK.  In England in the week ending 20th July about 4.8% of the population would have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to 5.8% the previous week.  Looking at the modelled daily prevalence the peak infection date was the 9th July which coincides with the about the time of a peak in reported cases on the daily dashboard and in the Zoe app.  That these other surveillance methods are continuing to show a fall in infections as are new hospital admissions and people in hospital we can expect to see further falls in the ONS estimates over the next couple of weeks at least and probably longer.  Deaths within 28 days of testing positive for covid should be peaking about now, but this will not be that obvious in the data for another couple of weeks due to the lag in recording deaths.”



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