One in 35 people in Birmingham are testing positive for Covid-19, new figures show

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that one in every 35 people in Birmingham are currently testing positive for Covid-19.

The proportion of people testing positive for Covid-19 is increasing across the nation due to the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron strains, which have now become the most dominant forms of the virus.

New data published on 24 June by the ONS shows that in some areas of the UK 5% of people have now tested positive for the virus.

The estimates are based on random PCR samples from private households across the UK - excluding people living in communal housing such as care homes.

Covid-19 rates have increased in all four nations over the last week.

A total of 1.7 million people were estimated to have had the virus last week - which is up from 1.4 million the week before.

That is a rise of 23%.

One in 35 people in Birmingham are testing positive for Covid-19.

What is the Covid-19 case rate in Birmingham?

The estimated percentage of people with Covid-19 in Birmingham in the week of 12 to 18 June was 2.7% - which equates to one in 35 people.

This has risen significantly from the previous week (5 to 11 June) when the rate was just 2.06% - or one in every 50 people.

Birmingham’s rate is slightly higher than the average for the West Midlands which currently sits at 2.32% (one in 45 people).

What has changed with the Covid-19 variants?

The Wellcome Sanger Institute published data on 23 June that revealed BA.4 and BA.5 have now become the dominant strains of Covid in the UK.

Of the 953 positive PCR tests successfully analysed, 547 were found to be one of the two new variants - 57% of the total.

In the previous week they made up just 42% of cases, meaning they have risen by 15% in just one week.

What are the symptoms of BA.4 and BA.5?

BA.4 and BA.5 are subvarients of the Omicron strain of Covid-19.

Omicron was first detected in November of 2021 in South Africa.

BA.4 and BA.5 are now the dominant strains in the UK making up 22% and 39% of cases, respectively.

There is no evidence that the BA.4 and BA.5 strains cause any more severe illness compared to Omicron, but it is thought that they are more contagious.

Omicron symptoms include: a constant cough, body aches, a fever, unexplained fatigue and a stuffy nose.

New data shows that Covid-19 is rising across all four nations.

What to do if you catch Covid-19?

There are no longer any restrictions or regulations surrounding Covid-19 in England.

However, NHS England is advising that anyone who has tested positive or has symptoms of the virus should try to stay home.

The current advice states that five days is enough time to avoid contact with other people - this time starts the day after doing a test or experiencing symptoms.

For children under 18 this time is shorter - they only need to stay home for three days.

Free testing is now only available for specific groups of people in England.

It is still open for those who work in the NHS or social care.

People with health conditions and those due to go into hospital for surgery or a procedure are also still able to acquire tests.

They are also available for those visiting hospitals or care homes.

For those not eligible they are available to purchase from pharmacies and retailers.

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