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NATIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP: Over a million are suffering from long Covid AND the cost of heating your home could double


Here's your latest headline news for England and Wales including over a million suffer from long covid symptoms in the UK, a charity’s warning over rising heating bills, and the NHS app is the most downloaded by iPhone users this year.

More than a million people in the UK are continuing to experience long Covid, new figures suggest.

An estimated 1.2 million people in private households reported having long Covid in the four weeks to October 31.

This includes 862,000 who first had Covid-19, or suspected they had Covid-19, at least 12 weeks previously, while 439,000 first had – or suspected they had – the virus at least one year ago.

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are broadly unchanged from a month ago, but are higher than earlier in the year.

The latest estimate of 1.2 million is up from 945,000 at the start of July and 1.1 million in early September.

Prevalence of long Covid among young people has also increased compared with earlier in the year, the ONS found.

An increase to the energy price cap in April could see the cost of heating the average home doubling since last April, a charity has warned.

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) warned that average domestic dual fuel energy bills, which have already soared by more than £230 per customer compared with last winter, could increase by a further £550 a year.

NEA also warned that the average household gas bill could increase by £467 compared with October last year, meaning the cost of heating the average home will have doubled since last winter.

The warning comes as suppliers have been collapsing across Great Britain in recent weeks, after the price of gas spiked by as much as five times compared with the start of this year.

The official NHS App used to show a person’s vaccination status and Covid Pass has been revealed as this year’s most downloaded free app by UK iPhone users.

The NHS App finished ahead of WhatsApp, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube in Apple’s end of year App Store Awards.

Microsoft Teams – which came to prominence during the pandemic as millions shifted to video conferencing for work, school and socialising – also made the list ahead of Snapchat, Facebook, Google Maps and Facebook Messenger.

Fellow video calling platform Zoom was the most downloaded free iPad app, ahead of Teams, YouTube, Netflix and Disney+.

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