There were 605,313 cases in the week ending March 24, just six per cent higher than the week before – an indication that the latest wave may soon peak.
But this nationwide picture disguises huge regional variations.
At a regional level, the North East of England has seen case rates rise by a third (33 per cent) in just a week, to 775 cases per 100,000 residents.
The current BA.2 wave has seen case rates hit the second highest level in the pandemic so far, after the Omicron wave of the past winter.
Across the UK, hospitalisations are at about half the numbers seen at their peak, in January 2021, while the number of deaths is well below those seen before the vaccine rollout.
But high case rates, and the resulting absences, are still causing disruption in schools and hospitals.
The lifting of many restrictions, waning effectiveness of boosters and the spread of the highly contagious BA.2 ‘stealth Omicron’ variant have all been touted as potential reasons for the current wave.
At neighbourhood level, Covid-19 case rates have been published for the week to March 24.
The figures include people infected with Covid-19 for the first time as well as reinfections.