The UK is still being rocked by COVID-19, even though the country began easing restrictions in mid-March.

The number of COVID-19 infections remains high across much of the UK, with only Scotland seeing a decline, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS data revealed that in the week ending 2 April, 7.6 per cent, or one in 13 people in England, were thought to have COVID-19. In Wales, the estimate increased from 1 in 14 to 1 in 13, while in Northern Ireland the latest estimate was 1 in 16.

Data from Scotland’s Office of National Statistics showed that an estimated 1 in 13 people, compared to 1 in 12 in the previous week, contracted the virus in the week ending April 3.

In total, nearly 169,000 people have died in the UK since the virus outbreak.

The re-emergence of COVID-19 in the UK is placing a heavy burden on hospitals and slowing the economic recovery.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed the hospitalization rate for confirmed COVID-19 patients in England continued to rise to 20.46 per 100,000 in the week ending April 3, compared to 20.08 per 100,000 in the previous week.

Hospitals and emergency services across England are under enormous pressure and NHS chiefs have asked families to accept loved ones with COVID-19 as healthcare faces a “perfect storm” fueled by massive demand and an acute shortage of staff.

Quoting Dr Derek Sandman of The Guardian, The Guardian reported: “If you have a loved one in hospital, help staff go home quickly when they are well – even if they test positive for COVID-19.” Integrated care system in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

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“The number of people with COVID-19 receiving care in hospitals across the region was 650 – more than 2.5 times compared to early January,” Sandman said, adding that “2,800 workers working for local NHS organizations were sick, half of whom were sick. It was due to COVID-19.”

“The situation has become so bad that all health departments are now overwhelmed,” Dr Laila Mackay, NHS policy director, told The Guardian.

In addition, Deutsche Bank chief economist Sanjay Raja warned that the rise in COVID-19 cases will slow down the UK’s economic recovery.

“Interest in business is growing and the effects of business are likely to be felt in the coming months,” Raja wrote in a new report.

Deutsche now expects the British economy to contract by about 0.2% in the April-June quarter, followed by a modest recovery in the third quarter.

(with agency contribution)