LT24::Daily coronavirus cases in England have risen again, with around 1 in 130 people estimated to have had COVID-19 last week.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were around 35,200 new cases per day between 10 and 16 October, and that 433,300 people in England were infected.
Sky’s science and medical correspondent says the “bleak” figures still don’t show any sign that cases are levelling off.
The ONS study records cases in private households and excludes hospitals and care homes.
“The highest COVID-19 infection rates continue to be seen in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, and the North East,” said the ONS.One in 59 people in the northwest England were estimated to have had the virus last week – but researchers say the gap between the North and other regions “seems to be narrowing”.
The ONS Infection Survey tests tens of thousands of people each week and is separate from the figures released each day by UK health authorities.
In Wales, cases doubled to around one in 180 people infected (16,700), compared with an estimated one in 390 (7,900) the week before.
The figure for Northern Ireland – which records a two-week period – more than doubled from one in 250 to one in 100.
Scotland appears in the ONS release for the first time, with around one in 180 people believed infected between 3 and 16 October.
For the first time, the weekly study gives a figure for the proportion of the population who may have antibodies for the virus.
It says that in September an estimated 5.6% of the population in England would have tested positive for antibodies from a blood sample.
That is an average of 2.5 million people aged 16 or over (one in 18 people).
The research comes as four regions in England – Lancashire, South Yorkshire, Liverpool, Greater Manchester – are now on “very high” alert and under the toughest restrictions.
Warrington council leaders have told Sky News they have agreed a deal to move to Tier 3 as discussions on whether Nottinghamshire will follow suit are continuing.
In Wales, a full nationwide lockdown comes into force at 6pm this evening, and in Scotland, restrictions on pubs, bars and restaurants have been extended until 2 November, when a new tiered approach is expected to begin.