Almost 100,000 British people are infected with coronavirus every day. This emerges from results of a government surveillance study, which suggests the UK is heading for a second peak that could rival the first.
The REACT-1 project, which wiped tens of thousands of people each week, estimated that around 96,000 people were infected daily in England by October 25.
The experts at Imperial College London behind the investigation warned that the cases were just weeks from the levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in March and April. Previous projections have estimated there were just over 100,000 daily cases in the spring, resulting in over 40,000 deaths in the first wave.
The study warned that infections would double every nine days, suggesting that there could be 200,000 daily cases for the first week of November.
Imperial researchers said it is possible that recent wet and bleak weather may have played a role in the increase in infections by forcing people indoors, where the virus can spread more easily. However, they warned that a smaller decline in compliance with social distancing rules across the board opened the door for the highly infectious disease to spread faster.
Imperial estimates that 1.3 percent of all people living in England would contract the disease by October 25, which is one in 75 or 730,000 people. The Covid-19 prevalence was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber (2.7 percent) and the Northwest (2.3 percent).
The study, which will likely be used to put more pressure on No. 10 to impose a national lockdown, also estimated the R-rate of virus reproduction – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infected – in London on almost three finds the researchers described as "scary". It was lower in the northwest, where millions of people live under draconian barriers.
Overall, the R-rate across England was 1.6 for the last week, compared to 1.16 in the preliminary round. Experts have repeatedly warned that it is important to keep the reproductive rate below the level of 1 to prevent cases from spiraling.
It comes after another 310 Covid-19 victims were registered last night and 367 the day before, which is the highest daily number since the end of May. But the 26,688 infections reported yesterday were actually the first week-to-week decline in a month – although the central testing program lacks asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections.
The REACT-1 study commissioned by the Ministry of Health has wiped tens of thousands of people since the summer. The latest evidence from the last phase (round six, dark blue) shows an increase in transmission in every region of England
The researchers sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and 25. A total of 863 were positive (1.28 percent) – more than twice as much as 0.6 percent the week before. Pictured: How the cases have increased since the summer, so the results of all six phases of the study
The study also found that the prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 percent, up from 0.84 percent the week before. It was followed by the northwest with 2.27 percent versus 1.21 percent. The prevalence was lowest in the east of England at 0.55 percent (versus 0.29 percent)
Sickness rates also rose in all age groups, with the largest increase among 55 to 64 year olds at 1.20 percent, three times 0.37 percent per week. Among those over 65, the prevalence was 0.81 percent, after doubling from 0.35 percent. Among 18 to 24 year olds, the rate remained the highest at 2.25 percent
The study found that the R-rate of virus reproduction – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infected – was 1.6 across England for the past week, compared to 1.16 in the preliminary round. The R is believed to be between 1 and 1.5 in the north and above two in the southeast and southwest. In London there are almost three
In response to the study, Professor Igor Rudan, Joint Director of the Center for Global Health and the University of Edinburgh's WHO Collaborating Center, said, “This study should be viewed as very accurate and reliable scientific evidence showing that there is a very large second wave Covid is present -19 pandemic is ongoing. This will inevitably lead to a very large number of infections, serious episodes, and deaths in the weeks and months to come.
“Efforts will be required to bring the national reproduction number back below one. The measures taken in most of Europe over the past two months are clearly insufficient to prevent the new large growth in infected cases and the rapid spread of the virus. I recommend the authors for this excellent performance. "
Dr. Simon Clarke, Associate Professor of Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said, “There are some sobering numbers in this latest REACT study … 18- to 24-year-olds remain the age group with the highest infection rate, but in the in the age group of 55 to 64 year olds, the number of those infected has tripled. This shows how the virus will spread to people at risk if not activated. We can assume that this situation will worsen if the authorities react slowly. "
The study, commissioned by the Department of Health, sent swabs to 85,971 volunteers in England between October 16 and 25. A total of 863 were positive (1.28 percent) – more than twice as much as 0.6 percent the week before.
The prevalence of the virus in people aged 55 to 64 has more than tripled in the past week, and the rate has doubled in those over 65 who are most susceptible to Covid-19.
Professor Paul Elliott, program director at Imperial, said the results were "worrying". He believes the British have generally eased how strictly they followed the rules of social distancing.
While these may have been small changes, he warned, "A small change in everyone's behavior can have a big impact (on the trajectory of the virus)."
Professor Elliot added: “The results paint a worrying picture of the situation in England, where we are seeing a nationwide surge in infection prevalence that we know will lead to more hospitalizations and death.
We are also seeing early signs that areas with previously low infection rates are following trends seen in the hardest hit areas of the country.
"Now, more than ever, we need to work together to curb the spread of the virus and avoid overloading the health system later."
Daily Covid-19 infections hit 24,701 in the first DROP in a month, but the deaths rise to 310
The daily number of Covid-19 cases in the UK fell from week to week for the first time in a month on Wednesday.
Health chiefs announced 24,701 more infections, a slight decrease from the 26,688 positive coronavirus tests last Wednesday.
This means that it was the first time since September 28th that the daily number of cases fell to the amount recorded the previous week when the count was hit by a counting error.
But deaths keep increasing. Another 310 coronavirus victims were registered today, up from 191 released around this time last week. Wales recorded 37 deaths today – the highest amount of coronavirus in a single day since April.
Several factors can explain the disparity between the official test numbers and REACT-1 estimates.
REACT-1 is technically four days out of date as it only lasts until October 25th.
As a result, the virus may have slowed down a bit in those five days as local locks take effect.
Although this probably didn't play a very important role as official tests only catch a fraction of the actual infections.
It is more likely that it was a bug in the official testing program that aims to wipe over 300,000 people a day.
Most people have very mild or no Covid symptoms at all so they never reach for a test.
The REACT-1 study has the advantage that regardless of their symptoms, people will be tested at random to get a more accurate picture of the current crisis.
The study found that the R-rate of virus reproduction – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infected – was 1.6 for the past week across England, compared to 1.16 in the preliminary round.
The R in the north is believed to hover between 1 and 1.5, which carried the brunt of the second wave of infections and where plumes were under local third-stage barriers.
However, the R in the southeast and southwest is believed to be larger than two that have so far managed to dodge the worst of the crisis, and nearly three in London.
Experts have repeatedly warned that it is important to keep the R-rate below the 1 level to prevent cases from spiraling.
The news that it is almost three times the size of the capital has been described as "scary" by Professor Elliot.
However, the high R-numbers in the south should be interpreted with caution, as they have broad confidence margins.
This is because the transmission is much lower in the south compared to the north, making it more difficult to pin down an exact R-number.
Professor Elliot added, “It's a scary number in London, but an inaccurate estimate. It is unwise to pay much attention to the exact R due to its low prevalence, but our study showed signs of a persistent increase (transmission).
“There is rapid rise and growth in the south (in certain cases), but much less growth in the north. I would say the south was the north a few weeks ago. & # 39;
The Imperial team concluded that the current three-tier lockdown system either “does not work or is not adequately followed”.
Professor Elliot said, “It is possible that the latest lockdown measures were not incorporated into our data.
"But as of today, it is not enough (the current strategy) for rates to rise across the country, be it in behavior or current politics."
Steven Riley, an infectious disease expert who co-led the study, warned the country of a repeat of the crisis in the spring.
He said, “There is a clear trend that hospital admissions are increasing exponentially. Our data shows that this exponential increase will continue over the next two weeks.
& # 39; It is difficult to compare (the winter wave) with the peak in March, it is likely a little lower (now) and the overall growth rate is still lower.
"But being a little lower and a little slower than March still means it is rising fast and is already at a high level."
Professor Riley said there needs to be a public compliance change or policy change before Christmas to avoid another catastrophic death toll.
The study also found that the prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72 percent, up from 0.84 percent the week before.
It was followed by the northwest with 2.27 percent versus 1.21 percent. The prevalence was lowest in the east of England at 0.55 percent (versus 0.29 percent).
Sickness rates also rose in all age groups, with the largest increase among 55 to 64 year olds at 1.20 percent, three times 0.37 percent per week.
Among those over 65, the prevalence was 0.81 percent, after doubling from 0.35 percent. Prices remained the highest among 18 to 24 year olds at 2.25 percent.
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