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The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 has gone up in England and Wales for the first time in two months, official statistics showed on Friday.
The results are based on data for the week ending September 14 from the government’s Office for National Statistics.
Based on its data, the ONS estimated that the number of people testing positive in England was 766,500 — amounting to approximately one in 70 people — and in Wales 39,700, or one in 75.
The previous week’s survey found infection rates were one in 75 in England and one in 110 in Wales.
According to the long-running survey, both these UK countries last saw a week-on-week increase in the week ending July 6, fuelled by the new Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants.
At the same time, figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland went down.
The results come from a survey in which a random sample of the population is swabbed — whether or not they have symptoms.
Those tested do not include people living in care homes.
Researchers then model these results to estimate how many of the total population is currently infected.
Two Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and B.A5, have partly driven a wave of new cases of the disease in Europe and the United States.