A FURTHER 98,204 Brits have tested positive for Covid-19 today, new government data has revealed.
Vaccines are still the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus and one health chief today urged Brits to book their spring booster.
Brits have been urged to get their recommended dose of a vaccine to keep everyone safeCredit: Getty
The chart above shows how coronavirus infections have increased in recent weeks, but that deaths have remained stable
Most people by now will have had three doses of a vaccine, with the majority of Brits having been boosted at Christmas when Omicron became the dominant variant.
In order to protect the most vulnerable, the Health Secretary revealed scientists are working on plans to green light a second Covid booster jab for all over-50s this Autumn.
On Monday the over-75s were told they could book in for their spring booster.
Many people who are immunosuppressed and who have underlying health issues have now had a fourth dose.
Omicron is a milder strain, with studies showing vaccines slash the risk of hospitalisation or severe illness even further.
Dr Susan Hopkins, HSA chief medical adviser said: “Vaccination is the key to staying safe from serious illness and it’s vital that everyone gets all of their recommended doses.”
Most people who catch it get better after a few days resting at home with cold-like or flu symptoms.
Cases have risen in recent weeks, with ministers urging Brits to use common sense as the country learns to live with the virus.
Sadly a further 165 people have lost their lives 28 days after a positive test.
Yesterday Professor Chris Whitty said the pandemic is set to “become steady and less dominant over time”.
He said: “I’m expecting it to probably be seasonal in the UK but interspersed – for the next two or three years – by new variants whilst it’s still evolving to adapt to humans, which may occur in between seasonal peaks.
“So, I think we should just accept that is what we’re going to deal with and just roll with it rather than expect there is some end point.”
Omicron has been proven to be a milder strain of Covid, especially in the vaccinated, but thousands are still catching the bug every day.
And for some more vulnerable people it could cause a more severe illness – so even if it is milder for you, you risk passing it on to someone who might suffer more.
ON THE UP
While deaths have remained stable over recent months, hospitalisations are on the rise.
There are currently 16,975 people in hospital in the UK with Covid, up from 10,955 this time last month.
Dr Hopkins said the rise in figures is a reminder that the pandemic is not yet over.
“Hospital admissions and cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise and we can expect to see further increases before we start to see a decline.
“Wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, socialising outside where possible, and always observing good hand hygiene will also help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
“Anyone with symptoms or a positive test should limit their contact with others as much as possible”, she said.
The experts behind the ZOE Symptom Study app also today revealed that 1 in 19 people in the UK currently have Covid.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on app said: “After two years of the pandemic, Covid-19 is affecting more people than ever before.
“The ZOE Covid study data estimates there has been more than 35 million Covid cases in the UK since May 2020, with 18 million occurring just since Omicron hit in early December.”
It comes as a major change to the Covid rulebook will come into force from next week.
It will affect how people access testing, which has been free for the past two years.
It comes as a new study warned people who catch Covid are at higher risk of 20 different conditions.
Even those who didn’t have an illness severe enough to be hospitalised could develop problems.
The research, published in Nature Medicine, warned long-term effects could be seen in the heart and vascular system.
These include cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke, irregular heart rhythms, blood clots, blood vessel diseases and inflammation disorders.
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