The Office for National Statistics has announced that an estimated 645,000 people had Covid-19 between December 12 and 18, representing a sharp increase from previous weeks.

One in 85 people in England had Covid-19 last week, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday. 

The figures represent a stark increase from the previous week when one in 95 people were thought to have the virus.

During the period studied, London has emerged as the new epicentre for Covid-19, with the highest percentage of people testing positive. The East and South East of England are also among the worst hit areas.

Among the bad news that Covid-19 is once again growing rapidly, the study notes that prevalence of the virus among those aged 70 years and above appeared to be decreasing.

The prevalence of the coronavirus also increased in Wales, where one in 60 people are estimated to have been infected last week.

Meanwhile, a decrease was seen in Scotland, the study suggests that one in 140 people now have the virus. 

The ONS announcement comes as the UK battles against a new ‘highly contagious’ strain of Covid-19, which is particularly common in the South East of England.

The new virus variant is supposedly 70 percent more contagious and has been linked to rising cases across the country.

On Wednesday it was announced that the UK’s Covid-19 infection rate had risen to between 1.1 and 1.3. 

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