183,037 new cases of Covid were reported in the UK on Wednesday. After delays over Christmas, Northern Ireland’s numbers include data for five days, accounting for almost 23,000 cases.
A shortage of lateral flow tests has been creating frustration among people. Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK’s Health Security Agency said the supply will be normal by next week. In relation to the large number of cases, she said, “We need to watch data for the next few weeks – after the new year – before we can be absolutely sure what the next steps will be.”
In England, the rate of Covid cases continues to rise due primarily to the Omicron variant, which makes up 90% of all community cases, officials said earlier this week.
There have been 914,723 positive Covid tests in the United Kingdom over the last seven days. Another 57 deaths are reported within 28 days of a positive test.
There was an upsurge in the demand for lateral flow tests after changes in England allowed people with Covid to end their isolation after seven days if their tests were negative on day six and seven. If a lateral flow test is negative on a daily basis in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, totally vaccinated close contacts of positive cases can go about their daily lives normally.