Coronavirus has not gotten out of hand in the UK, according to scientists who estimate around 44,000 new infections are currently occurring every day.
Researchers at King & # 39; s College London behind the Covid Symptom Study predict that cases last week were 20 percent higher than a week earlier. There has been a 31 percent increase in the past seven days.
Based on reports from one million app users and more than 12,000 test results, last week's estimates were roughly in line with the Office of National Statistics figures, believed to be the most accurate and updated today.
Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist behind the king's study, said the spread of Covid-19 in the UK is currently "steady" and may even slow down in Scotland.
The team estimated that cases in the UK would double once a month and that the R-rate was 1.1 for the week ended October 25.
Their update comes after a shocking mass test study published yesterday that estimates 96,000 people get the disease every day.
However, that came with a conflicting forecast that brought the number closer to 56,000 and caused confusion over how heavy the UK's second wave actually is.
And health ministry tests have found an average of just 22,125 cases per day for the past week, with 23,065 diagnosed yesterday.
Looking back at the number of people dying can also give an idea of how far Covid-19 is spreading. Government officials estimate that 0.5 percent of coronavirus patients die, suggesting an average of 154 people died per week by October 23, which was the result of 31,000 new daily infections earlier in the month.
Professor Spector said King's college team, working with health tech company ZOE, wanted to "reassure" people that the situation didn't seem as bad as "other polls" suggested .
In other coronavirus news:
- West Yorkshire will enter the strictest third tier lockdown starting Sunday, joining the regions around Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
- According to sources close to the city's mayor, Sadiq Khan, London could face Tier 3 rules in a matter of weeks. Mr Khan yesterday reiterated his calls for a national shutdown, saying that tougher measures need to be taken;
- A government source has reportedly told Boris Johnson that all hospital beds in England could be full by December 17th if no further action is taken against the coronavirus. However, stricter measures continue to be in place and Nightingale hospitals across the country remain on standby.
- A study showed that a variant strain of Covid-19 called 20A.EU1 caused 90 percent of infections in England and was traced back to a farm in northern Spain in June.
"While cases are still on the rise across the UK, we want to reassure people that the cases have not got out of hand as other polls reported recently," Professor Spector said today.
& # 39; We're still seeing a steady increase at the national level, doubling every four weeks with the possible exception of Scotland showing signs of slowing.
& # 39; With a million people reporting weekly, we have the largest national survey and our estimates are in line with the ONS survey.
“Data on covid-19 can be confusing to the public, and we can't just rely on confirmed cases or daily deaths without putting them into context.
“Hospital admissions are increasing as expected, but deaths are still average for the season. When we become citizen scientists it is important to look at multiple sources to get a broader view. "
Are the cases really rising that fast?
A number of statistics over the past week indicated that cases were not growing as fast as they used to be.
The Office of National Statistics, which measures the size of the Covid-19 outbreak using thousands of random swab tests, found that the number of people developing coronavirus every day in England alone was 35,200 last week.
Despite an increase of 26 percent from the previous estimate and a doubling from two weeks ago, top scientists insisted the number was "hopeful" as the rate of growth had slowed significantly.
Cases doubled between October 2 and 9, and rose two-thirds (62 percent) to 27,900 per day the following week. This is evident from the ONS data, which is considered to be the most reliable indicator of the true size of the crisis.
The data echoed comments from UK Principal Science Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, who said last week there were signs that local locks are starting to work and that the curves are flattening in some areas.
Separate data from the Ministry of Health showed that the number of daily cases by sample date – the date the test was taken – rose only 9 percent from Oct 5-12, increasing from 15,310 to 16,683 in one week.
But then cases seemed to pick up again, rising 23.5 percent from 17,589 on October 15 to 21,717 a week later.
Since then, the outbreak appears to have slowed again. The rate of growth over the past three days was 1.6 percent compared to around 7.7 percent over the past three days.
Tests have remained at constant levels for the past two weeks, suggesting the current swab program may detect as many Covid-19 cases as possible – with a test positivity rate of over five percent.
The UK testing system will always overlook asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus, which make up the vast majority of infections. Those who have no symptoms have no reason to request a test.
The current program only calls for 300,000 people a day – despite warnings, it would have to be ramped up for the winter to cope with the increase in people with coughs and colds.
Due to a lack of capacity, NHS and social workers are prioritized, as are people with severe symptoms and those targeted by Test and Trace.
The Department of Health yesterday announced an additional 23,065 positive coronavirus tests from across the UK, up 8.6 percent from last Thursday.
The number of people diagnosed with the disease has risen to a current daily average of 22,125 since early September.
However, testing only captures a fraction of the actual number of infections because many people are not tested, do not get sick with the virus, or get a false negative result.
So studies by scientists and mathematicians are the most accurate pictures of how many people are really infected with coronavirus, whether it makes them sick or not.
King's study relied on roughly one million people using the Covid Symptom Study app reporting if they were feeling sick and confirming the test results when they did. It is estimated that there are 43,569 new infections per day in the UK and 34,628 in England.
The Office for National Statistics, which last week estimated an estimated 35,200 new infections per day in mid-October, uses mass tests of a random group of the population to calculate what percentage of people are Covid-positive and how this changes over time.
Imperial College London's government-funded study, REACT-1, estimated yesterday that there were 96,000 new infections per day. This study is also based on mass population tests and used 85,000 tests between October 16 and October 25.
A "nowcast" study by Cambridge University researchers yesterday put a figure of 55,600 a day based on the number of people dying from the disease and data showing how much people travel and interact.
Looking back at the number of people dying from Covid-19 can give a fairly reliable estimate of infections, but there are delays in the data as it usually takes more than two weeks for someone to die after getting Covid-19 caught.
Officials believe that around 0.5 percent of people who contract coronavirus die from it – one in 200 people who become infected.
The average of 154 people who died every day in the UK for the week leading up to October 23 – the latest reliable data – suggests that 31,000 people were infected every day two to three weeks earlier.
However, this may not take into account the age differences in people who contract the virus. The infectious mortality rate could be lower now than it was in the spring as more cases spread among young people.
The second wave was triggered by the virus, which spread among teenagers and people aged 20 and over in early September when universities and schools returned, and these groups are far less likely to die, which means there may be a higher ratio of infections too Deaths and deaths occurring 31,000 per day could be an underestimate.
Data in the Covid Symptom Study estimated that the North West and North East and Yorkshire accounted for half of all new infections per day in England at 8,725 and 8,446 per day, respectively.
Another 7,404 of the daily infections occurred in the Midlands, followed by 4,977 per day in London. The lowest were the east of England at 2,278 per day and the south west at 2,607.
In Scotland, 4,674 new cases were reported per day in Scotland, followed by 3,397 in Wales and 1,230 in Northern Ireland.
England and Scotland had predicted R-rates of 1.1 while in Wales they were 1.2.
The government remains opposed to calls for a second UK national lockdown, fears economic devastation if people are forced to stay home, and pursues its local lockdown strategy.
Sixteen other areas, including parts of Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Telford, and Luton and Oxford, were classified as high risk Tier 2 restrictions yesterday.
Leeds and West Yorkshire will now enter the third tier, alongside the Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham regions – the highest tier of restrictions.
Data from King's College London's Covid Symptom Study app shows coronavirus cases in the UK have surged to more than 40,000 a day after a summer hiatus, but the team behind it claims they are "not getting out of hand are".
The north of England and the Midlands remain hardest hit by Covid-19, the King & # 39; s team predicts. Per-person infection rates are also high in Scotland, Wales, London and the university towns of southern England, including Bristol, Bournemouth, Exeter and Brighton
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday: “We continue to see a worrying surge in cases across the country and it is clear that decisive action is needed.
& # 39; We agreed with local executives to move more areas to the High Local Covid Alert Level this week.
“These restrictions are challenging for all of us, but only if we work together and follow the rules can we reduce infection rates.
“Failure to act now will only result in prolonged disruption and greater economic damage. I want to thank everyone who is doing their part to break transmission chains across the country. We will defeat this virus, but we must stick together as we enter the winter months. & # 39;
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