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Commenting on the rise, Professor Spector said: “Our ZOE Health Study data shows the UK is in a new Covid wave that could soon exceed 300,000 daily cases, bringing us to levels seen during the height of the pandemic for the UK.
“It has already overtaken previous records in Scotland. Our app based data is reassuringly in line with the ONS survey last week – but their results are lagging behind ours by up to a week.
“The increase is primarily due to the Omicron BA.5 Covid variant which is now dominant in the UK. This variant is particularly good at immune escape, causing an increase in reinfections in people in spite of vaccines and natural immunity, particularly over the past few weeks. With the large numbers of festivals happening, I predict rates will continue to rise for the next week or so.
“The only good news is that the symptoms are still mild with fewer deaths than in other earlier waves, though worryingly the number of hospitalisations is rapidly increasing. I’d still advise people to protect themselves by wearing good quality FFP2 or FFP3 masks in crowded or poorly ventilated areas and testing themselves if possible if they have any Covid symptoms.”