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15 October 2021

The UK has the second-highest Covid-19 case rate in the world

Romania is the only major country with a higher coronavirus case rate than the UK.

By Michael Goodier

The UK is recording one of the highest Covid-19 case rates in the world relative to its population, with Romania the only major country experiencing a higher rate.

The latest figures, compiled by Johns Hopkins University, show that 656 out of every million people tested positive yesterday (14 October) – bringing the average for the week up to 570. Romania recorded 856 cases per million people. Turkey, Ukraine, Cuba and the US are also experiencing high rates of Covid-19 relative to their populations.


One of the reasons the UK is experiencing such a high case rate compared with other nations is because of its high level of testing. Around 4 per cent of Covid-19 tests currently return positive – which is a lower figure than Belgium (6 per cent), Germany (7 per cent) and the Netherlands (8 per cent). Ukraine is seeing around 32 per cent of tests come back positive, indicating that it isn’t testing enough people.

A high case rate is also not as dangerous a sign as it once was, as vaccines have dramatically reduced the fatality rate. However, it does mean hospital admissions are still creeping upwards in the UK ahead of the winter flu season. Speeding up the slow rollout of booster shots and vaccinations of young people could help mitigate some of the coming pressure on the NHS.

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