One in 20 may have had Covid-19 in parts of England last week, figures suggest

As many as one in 20 people in some areas of England may have had Covid-19 last week, new figures suggest.

Knowsley, Liverpool, Rochdale, Sefton and West Lancashire in north-west England, along with Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, Newham and Redbridge in London, are the local authorities where about 5% of the population are thought to have had the virus in the period January 12 to 17.

They are the highest estimates for any local areas in England.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are for people in private households and do not include those in hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings.

Highest estimates of people with Covid-19
Highest estimates of people with Covid-19

The ONS added that the figures should be treated with caution as they are based on small sample sizes and have a higher degree of uncertainty than national and regional estimates.

Across England as a whole, about one in 55 are thought to have had Covid-19 in the slightly earlier period of January 10 to 16.

This is down from about one in 50 people for the period December 27 to January 2.

For the whole of London the figure is thought to be about one in 35 – the highest for any region in England.

The separate ONS estimates for local authority areas also suggest about one in 25 people in Leicester had Covid-19 between January 12 and 17, along with the London boroughs of Greenwich, Hackney, Havering and Islington, plus the City of London.