The number of people in the UK who have tested positive for COVID has risen to almost 3.5 million, latest figures show.

According to estimates by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), about 2,873,600 people were infected with the coronavirus in England in the week to July 6.

Scotland had 334,000 cases, Wales 183,500 and Northern Ireland 107,600.

The total is the largest since mid-April and is up 29% last week 2.7 millionbut remains well below the UK record level of 4.9 million recorded at the end of March.

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According to the ONS, the estimated percentage of the community population – meaning people not in hospital, care homes or other facilities – who had been sick with COVID in the last week was 5.27% in England, or one in 19 people.

In Wales, the figure was 6.04%, one in 17, 5.86% in Northern Ireland, also one in 17, and 6.34% in Scotland, or one in 16.

“Infections have increased across all English regions and age groups,” the ONS added.

Indicators are taken from PCR tests using swabs from the nose and throat.

Although this surge of cases was less serious than before, but the relentless pressure takes its toll in emergency departments.

Every patient in the hospital with the virus means another bed is occupied, which means longer wait times for other patients.

Read more:
Analysis: The government may need to rethink its strategy for coping with COVID if the summer surge continues

Dr Mohamed Munawwar, Clinical Director of Respiratory Medicine, Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust

Dr Mohamed Munawwar told Sky News that his hospital’s work to tackle NHS waiting lists had been making a breakthrough, but it had now been disrupted.

He said: “Other patients cannot be admitted and treated and patients are already waiting a long time for their procedures and their treatment is being delayed again.

“It’s putting a lot of pressure on the system and on the recovery work that’s off to a very good start.”

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