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Covid-19 cases rise as the UKHSA asks sick people to avoid the elderly and urges those entitled to book a booster





People who are unwell are being told to avoid contact with the elderly and wear a facemask where possible as Covid-19 cases rocket, fuelling fears a winter wave is now brewing.

The numbers testing positive for the virus continue to increase with an estimated one in every 50 people now thought to be infected - up from one in every 65 the week before.

But it is the growing numbers being admitted to hospital with the virus across the country now concerning health officials, who are already fearful the NHS is in for a difficult winter with high levels of flu, which will be driven by waning natural immunity caused by lockdown.

Around one in 50 people is thought to have the virus, up from one in 65 the week before. Image: File image.
Around one in 50 people is thought to have the virus, up from one in 65 the week before. Image: File image.

A total of 9,631 people with Covid were in hospital on Wednesday morning, according to NHS England, up 37 per cent compared with a week earlier.

During the summer wave, which was driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, patient numbers reached 14,000 in July - when infection rates also tipped three million - but these had been falling until last month.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said the latest data was 'concerning' with both cases and hospitalisation rates 'at their highest level in months' while outbreaks in hospitals and care homes are also on the rise.

People who are sick are being asked to use face masks and avoid the vulnerable
People who are sick are being asked to use face masks and avoid the vulnerable

"Make sure you have any COVID-19 vaccinations you are eligible for and avoid contact with others if you feel unwell or have symptoms of a respiratory infection" she added.

"If you are unwell, it is particularly important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who are more likely to have severe disease because of their ongoing health conditions.

"If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, wearing a face covering will also help stop infections spreading."

NHS hubs will attempt to administer flu jabs and Covid boosters where possible. Picture: PA Media.
NHS hubs will attempt to administer flu jabs and Covid boosters where possible. Picture: PA Media.

Around 26 million people are currently entitled to a Covid-19 booster injection including older people, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.

With fears that a 'twindemic' could take off this winter as Covid and flu cases both rise the NHS continues to appeal to those eligible to take up the offer of a jab.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes said: "It is clear now that we are seeing an increase which could signal the start of the anticipated winter wave of Covid-19 – so the time to boost your protection with a vaccine if you’re eligible is now. Cases have started to climb and hospitalisations are increasing in the oldest age groups."



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