An estimated 6.77 per cent of people in private households in Leeds had the virus in the seven days to January 6, up from 4.3 per cent in the previous week, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures show 4.3 million people across the UK had Covid-19 in the seven days to January 6, up from 3.7 million in the previous week.
All four nations saw a jump in infections, with prevalence of Covid-19 continuing to be highest in England, where around one in 15 people were estimated to have the virus – the equivalent of 3.7 million people, up from 3.3 million a week earlier.
Sir Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said the figures show “we still need to keep our guard up”, tweeting: “If you have not had your first, second or booster vaccine, please come forward; they protect you and those around you.”
The number of Covid-19 infections in the UK, which is estimated every week by the ONS, is not the same as the number of new cases of coronavirus which are reported every day by the Government.
The number of infections provides a snapshot of the prevalence of Covid-19 within the entire community population of the UK, and estimates the percentage of people who are likely to test positive for the virus at any one point – regardless of when they caught the virus, how long they have had it, and whether they have symptoms.
It is based on a sample of swab tests collected from households across the UK.
By contrast, the number of cases of Covid-19 reported each day by the Government is limited only to those people who have newly tested positive for the virus, and is therefore affected by how many people are coming forward for tests, who have reported their test results, or who are taking a test because they know they have coronavirus symptoms.
The infection survey is therefore the most reliable measure of how prevalent Covid-19 is across the country.
Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the estimate has increased from 6.1 per cent to 8.4 per cent, while in north-east England it is up from 5.3 per cent to 7.7 per cent.
North-west England has replaced London as the region with the highest positivity rate, with 9.8 per cent of people likely to have had Covid-19 in the week to January 6, up from 7.8 per cent a week earlier, the ONS said.
By contrast, infection levels for London are estimated to have fallen from 8.8 per cent to 7.8 per cent.
All estimates are for people in private households and do not include hospitals, care homes and other settings.
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