ONE in 30 people in Scotland have Covid according to the latest virus surveillance.

The Office for National Statistics estimated that 176,900 people in Scotland were infected in the week ending June 10, up from 124,100 the week before - a rise of 43 per cent. 

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the ONS household survey suggests that one in 50 have Covid.

Modelling also suggests that the BA.4 and BA.5 strains - which have been designated variants of concern - have now overtaken the previously dominant BA.2 in the UK. 

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It is the second week in a row that the prevalence of the virus in Scotland has increased, having climbed steadily from one in 50, to one in 40, and now one in 30, reversing a previous decline from a peak of one in 11 in March. 

HeraldScotland:

The ONS survey - which tests a representative sample of households across the UK each week - is one of the most accurate gauges of Covid trends now that routine testing has been wound up. 

Its report also suggests that the BA.4 and BA.5 are rapidly overtaking the BA.2 strain. 

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, modelling suggests that Covid variants "compatible with" BA.1, BA.4 and BA.5 - meaning that they are S-gene negative - now account for a slightly larger proportion of infections. 

In Scotland, the ratio is estimated to be around two to one, with BA.2 still dominant, although there is a lot of uncertainty. 

HeraldScotland:

 The trend appears strongest in South-East England, London, and the South-West of England. 

HeraldScotland:

During May, over 90% of all Covid infections sequenced were the Omicron BA.2 strain, but BA.4 and BA.5 have been gaining ground rapidly since late May. 

They are responsible for a recent surge in South Africa and a large spike currently in Portugal. 

It is thought that they are even more transmissible than previous strains, possibly due to mutations which enable them to dodge antibodies more effectively. 

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Waning immunity among people six or more months on from their last infection or vaccination is also a factor, although there is no indication that the new variants are more lethal and their spread may be blunted by summer weather when people are mixing more outdoors. 

It comes as Professor Linda Bauld, chair of public health at Edinburgh University, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that "we are certainly in another wave of infection".

She added: "That is not a big surprise because we did anticipate we would have a rising level of infections every three or four months potentially, that's what international colleagues have said.

"It might be surprising to people though because it's the summer, and they're used to hearing from us (that) the weather is better so people are more outside and therefore we reduce the risks through our behaviour."

The number of Covid positive patients in hospital in Scotland is also up 27% since the end of May.