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Coronavirus UK: is East London approaching herd immunity?


Tier 4 restrictions had little effect on lowering Covid rates in London – despite data suggesting that parts of the capital may be on the verge of herd immunity to coronavirus, given that so many people are believed to be are infected.

Analysts assume that half of the people in some districts in the east of the city already have the disease. Given that Covid re-infection appears to be extremely rare, scientists could say that it could mean that the virus is spreading more slowly in those areas as they are less prone to catch and pass it on.

Edge Health estimates that 54 percent of the population in Barking and Dagenham are already infected with coronavirus – more than 100,000 people. Based on the death rate in the counties, the infection rate could be 49 percent in Newham, 43 percent in Redbridge and 42 percent in Havering.

Professor Neil Ferguson, whose dire forecasts Britain banned for the first time last year, said past infection rates in London – which were also hardest hit by the first wave last spring – will slow transmission in the future.

Scientists estimate that around 80 percent of the population or more must be immune for an area to be protected from outbreaks. However, lower percentages can potentially slow the spread of the disease.

Infection rates per person in the city seem to be slowing already after waves spiraling out of control in December, raising questions about whether Tier 4 measures are supported by natural resistance. Despite the slowdown, rates appear to be still rising, suggesting that the draconian restrictions imposed on the capital before Christmas had little impact.

In an article published in December about the rapidly spreading new variant, researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine feared that lockdown measures would not work as well because they were so contagious.

Infection rate data shows cases are still on the rise in counties across London, but the increase has slowed, which may be a mix of the evolution of herd immunity and Tier 4 lockdown rules. In Barking and Dagenham, data analysts estimate that more than half of the population already has a coronavirus

& # 39; Professor Lockdown & # 39; Neil Ferguson told the Sunday Times, & # 39; I think we're going to see slow growth rates … we can see a decline and that can easily be aided by the fact that it's in places like London.

“Maybe 25 or 30 percent of the population is infected in the first and second waves now. So this helps reduce transmission. & # 39;

Values ​​even lower than the herd immunity threshold can slow down the transmission of the virus, as they increase the likelihood that someone who comes into contact with an infected person is already immune.

For example, if there is 30 percent immunity and there is one infected person in a group of 100 people, every time that person meets a group of 10 people, only seven of those people can catch the virus from them. In the same group at the start of the pandemic, probably all 10 would have been at risk by now.

In areas more exposed to the virus, this effect could be even greater.

Edge Health's modeling suggests that one in five people in England has had coronavirus and developed immunity to relapsing the disease.

Scientists aren't sure how long natural immunity to the virus will last, but within the year since the virus appeared, re-infection has been rare, with most recorded cases being limited to people with immune system problems.

The government's Covid-19 dashboard says there have been 2.4 million cases of the disease in the UK since the outbreak began in January, representing four percent of the country's population. And Public Health England estimates, through random blood tests, that 6.9 percent of the population has the disease – around 3.8 million people

WHICH AREAS OF LONDON HAVE THE HIGHEST EXPOSURE?

Many parts of London have higher levels of immunity than Public Health England data suggests, according to a study by Edge Health that used the counties' death toll to estimate how many cases they were likely to have had:

% of the previously infected population (official tests)

% of the population infected so far (edge ​​modeling)

Bark & ​​D & # 39; ham

Newham

Redbridge

Havering

Tower hamlet

Hackney

Brent

Waltham Forest

Croydon

Haringey

Merton

Ealing

Hounslow

Lewisham

harrow

Lambeth

Hillingdon

Barnet

Greenwich

Enfield

Bexley

Sutton

Hammersmith

Southwark

Wandsworth

Islington

Kingston

Bromley

Richmond

Westminster

Kensington

Camden

7.9%

7.1%

8.1%

8.1%

6.7%

5.5%

5.5%

6.6%

5.5%

5.6%

5.4%

5.7%

5.8%

5%

5.6%

5.1%

5.7%

5.4%

5.5%

5.7%

6.8%

5.4%

4.8%

5%

4.8%

4.5%

5%

5.5%

3.9%

3.8%

4.1%

3.8%

54.2%

49%

42.9%

42.4%

39.8%

35.1%

34.9%

33.2%

30.1%

29.9%

28.8%

28.4%

28.3%

28.3%

28.1%

27.4%

26.3%

26.2%

26.1%

26.1%

25.7%

25%

24.3%

24%

23.8%

21.8%

21.4%

17.4%

16%

16.5%

15.5%

14.2%

However, figures from data analytics firm Edge Health suggest the actual number of infections can be as high as 12.4 million, which is 22 percent of people.

If so, it could mean that, on average, every five people someone comes in contact with with coronavirus, one of them is resistant to the virus.

Infection rates are much higher than average in parts of East London, the hardest-hit area in the country.

While tests by the Department of Health have shown that 8.1 percent of the population in Havering are infected – 21,189 of 257,000 officially diagnosed cases – Edge estimates 42 percent, according to his analysis.

Edge calculated his "true" infection rate by working backwards from death rates for local areas across the country. It calculated how many people it took to have the virus to cause that many deaths, with the death rate ranging from 0.00045 to 13 percent depending on age.

The model estimated that 54.2 percent of the population in Barking & Dagenham had caught the virus since the start of the pandemic in Barking, 49 percent in Newham, 45.4 percent in Thurrock, and 42.9 percent in Redbridge.

The data shows a huge discrepancy between the test data collected by Public Health England, which only swabs people with coronavirus symptoms, and the actual number of people infected, whether or not they have been tested.

Edge estimates 115,460 people previously had Covid in Barking, compared to just 14,665 confirmed PHE cases.

There was a similar issue in Newham, where there were an estimated 173,058 infections with 21,683 PHE, and in Redbridge it was 130,806 compared to 22,125.

Immunity is also being developed through vaccines, which are now rapidly being delivered to the elderly across the country, reducing the number of people likely to get seriously ill with Covid-19.

Herd immunity, either through vaccinations or natural infections, or a combination of both, is now seen as the only way to eradicate Covid-19, although even this type of protection is not perfect.

Professor Ferguson added, “Once you become infected, you have adequate protection from disease for at least a year or more, much like a vaccine does.

"You are not necessarily protected from re-infection or transmission. You are just unlikely to get very sick." There are all of these reservations about immunity. This applies to both the vaccine and natural infections. & # 39;

Infection rates over the past few weeks show that the spread of the virus has slowed in London, although it is impossible to untangle the effects of immunity with Tier 4 restrictions.

The number of positive tests per 100,000 residents doubled in the week before Christmas in most of the city's boroughs – 119 percent in Redbridge and 108 percent in Barking – but the week-over-week increase slowed after the holiday season.

The following week, rate increases in East London's five major boroughs – the two above and Havering, Newham and Tower Hamlets – fell to 40 to 75 percent due to the doubling.

And since then they have fallen further, to 15 to 25 percent per week.

However, the decreases come while the city is in a Tier 4 lockdown that began December 19 and turned into a national lockdown on January 4th.

These measures are expected to have lowered infection rates, or at least slowed the increase in cases, although scientists warned last year that the new variant of the virus that is now the dominant version in London and the Southeast may be too contagious to be a lock is rules to work.

In an article published in December, they warned the UK was now in a race for herd immunity through vaccines, or being forced to develop it naturally, which would mean tens of thousands more people would die.

Professor John Edmunds, Professor Sebastian Funk, and Professor Rosalind Eggo, who are all members of the SAGE advisory group SPI-M-O, contributed to the study.

"The increase in portability is likely to result in a sharp spike in incidence as Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths are expected to reach higher levels in 2021 than in 2020," they wrote, "even with regional level restrictions before Jan. December were introduced. " are preserved.

"Our estimates suggest that controls with a similar rigor as the England national lockdown in November 2020 are unlikely to bring the effective reproductive rate (R-number) below one unless it is elementary, high school and university closed."

They continued, “We believe that if controls are relaxed, there are likely to be major recurrences of the virus.

"It may be necessary to speed up the adoption of vaccines significantly in order to have a tangible impact on suppressing the resulting disease burden."

Nationally, Edge Health's analysis found that one in five people may already have Covid, which is about five times higher than the number of people who tested positive.

The model used to get the number compares Covid-19 deaths in each area of ​​England to an estimated infectious mortality rate (IFR) – the percentage of people who contract the virus and die – and the age distribution of the individual districts.

Working backwards from the death toll for local areas across the country, experts calculated how many people must have had the virus to cause that many deaths, with the death rate ranging from 0.00045 to 13 percent depending on age.

It found that the estimated cases in 77 locations in England are more than five times the official number, a little over half of the 149 local authorities analyzed.

In some parts of London and Essex, which were the first hotspots in the spring and are now struggling again with the highly infectious new strain, the actual infection rate could be eight times higher than the official figure, with up to one in two people estimated at the Virus infected.

In Manchester and Liverpool, which became epicentres in the fall as the epidemic shifted north, the real caseload is believed to be six times higher than the government's four out of ten had Covid.

Edge Health co-founder and director George Batchelor said it was "incredible" how insane the official testing regime was with the country's epidemic, and said it paints only "a fraction of the picture of overall infections".

It is generally accepted that the actual number of Britons with the disease due to asymptomatic cases and lack of testing, or lack of testing, is far higher than the official figure. This was especially true at the start of the pandemic when the UK's lackluster testing scheme meant swabs were reserved for the sickest Covid patients in the hospital.

ONE IN FIVE IN ENGLAND ALREADY HAD VIRUS

One in five people in England may already have had Covid. This is based on modeling that the actual number of infections is five times higher than the official number.

The government's Covid-19 dashboard says there have been 2.4 million cases of the disease in the UK since the outbreak began in January, representing four percent of the country's population. And Public Health England estimates, through random blood tests, that 6.9 percent of the population has the disease – around 3.8 million people.

However, figures from data analytics firm Edge Health suggest the actual number of infections can be as high as 12.4 million, which is 22 percent of people.

This could mean the UK is closer to some level of herd immunity than previously thought. Scientists believe that if a significant portion of the population is already infected with Covid, the virus cannot spread as quickly as most of them will not be re-infected. But it won't last forever.

The government's Covid-19 dashboard says there have been 2.4 million cases of the disease since the February outbreak in the UK, representing four percent of the country's population. However, Edge Health analysis suggests that the actual number of infections could be up to 12.4 million, which is 22 percent of people

The government's Covid-19 dashboard says there have been 2.4 million cases of the disease since the February outbreak in the UK, representing four percent of the country's population. However, Edge Health analysis suggests that the actual number of infections could be up to 12.4 million, which is 22 percent of people

The model used to get the number compares Covid-19 deaths in each area of ​​England to an estimated infectious mortality rate (IFR) – the percentage of people who contract the virus and die – and the age distribution of the individual districts.

Working backwards from the death toll for local areas across the country, experts calculated how many people must have had the virus to cause that many deaths, with the death rate ranging from 0.00045 to 13 percent depending on age.

It found that the estimated cases in 77 locations in England are more than five times the official number, a little over half of the 149 local authorities analyzed.

Edge Health co-founder and director George Batchelor said it was "incredible" how insane the official testing regime was with the country's epidemic, and said it paints only "a fraction of the picture of overall infections".

It is generally accepted that the actual number of Britons with the disease due to asymptomatic cases and lack of testing, or lack of testing, is far higher than the official figure. This was especially true at the start of the pandemic when the UK's lackluster testing scheme meant swabs were reserved for the sickest Covid patients in the hospital.

HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY HAVE COVID IN YOUR AREA?
local community % Population estimated infected Estimated cases Confirmed Cases (PHE)
Bark and Dagenham 54.20% 115,460 14,665
Newham 49.00% 173.058 21,683
Thurrock 45.40% 79.223 12.007
Redbridge 42.90% 130.806 22,125
Havering 42.40% 110.063 19,316
Tower hamlet 39.80% 129.314 19,387
Liverpool 38.80% 193,428 30,672
Manchester 38.60% 213,389 37.471
Rochdale 38.00% 84,493 15,409
Salford 37.80% 97,742 16.117
Oldham 37.60% 89.129 17,385
Tameside 36.50% 82,572 12,438
Blackburn with Darwen 36.00% 53,925 12,475
Sandwell 35.20% 115,735 18,752
Hackney and City of London 35.10% 101.995 14,108
Brent 34.90% 115.101 15,744
Nottingham 33.70% 112.247 21,021
Wigan 33.30% 109,489 20,441
Birmingham 33.20% 378,806 60,046
Waltham Forest 33.20% 91,847 16.164
Stoke-on-Trent 32.80% 84.114 13,594
Kingston upon Hull, city of 32.70% 84,885 13,577
To bury 32.60% 62,311 12.286
Medway 32.20% 89,815 19,063
swamp 32.00% 47,803 8.501
Leicester 31.90% 113.164 23,517
Barnsley 31.40% 77,599 12,957
Luton 31.40% 66,946 11,346
Doncaster 31.40% 97.827 15,664
Rotherham 30.80% 81,667 14.209
Sunderland 30.60% 85,069 14,641
Bradford 30.50% 164,446 34,511
Walsall 30.20% 86,316 14,379
Croydon 30.10% 116.257 18,388
Haringey 29.90% 80.282 13,076
Southend-on-Sea 29.40% 53,842 9,659
read 29.30% 47,482 5.974
South Tyneside 29.00% 43,805 8.207
Derby 28.90% 74,468 11,632
Merton 28.80% 59,510 9,995
Bedford 28.70% 49,818 7.631
Bolton 28.70% 82,649 17,909
Ealing 28.40% 97.129 17,087
Hounslow 28.30% 76,796 13,701
Lewisham 28.30% 86,459 13.104
harrow 28.10% 70,521 12,461
Wolverhampton 27.60% 72.674 14,136
Lambeth 27.40% 89.184 14,552
Knowsley 27.30% 41.214 10.115
Leeds 27.20% 215,749 43,454
Stockton-on-teas 27.10% 53,457 10.207
Blackpool 27.00% 37.686 6.573
Middlesbrough 27.00% 38.033 7.636
County Durham 26.90% 142.369 26.227
Hartlepool 26.60% 24,883 5.984
Warrington 26.30% 55.294 11,550
Milton Keynes 26.30% 70,884 12.163
Hillingdon 26.30% 80,698 15.273
Barnet 26.20% 103,847 18,752
Greenwich 26.10% 75.289 13,427
Enfield 26.10% 87,062 19,504
Bexley 25.70% 63,719 15,059
Wakefield 25.60% 89.208 16,985
Sheffield 25.30% 147.939 30,848
Sutton 25.00% 51,601 9,847
Trafford 24.80% 58,791 11,290
Darlington 24.80% 26,446 4,760
Gateshead 24.60% 49,619 9,990
Hammersmith and Fulham 24.30% 45,075 8.005
Newcastle upon Tyne 24.20% 73.269 18.203
Southwark 24.00% 76,670 13,716
Kirklees 23.90% 104.995 23,476
Wandsworth 23.80% 78.317 14.008
Lancashire 23.80% 289.723 64.245
Staffordshire 23.10% 202,870 38.051
Kent 23.00% 364,427 79.903
Sefton 23.00% 63,568 14,018
Weird 22.50% 72,839 14,364
Northamptonshire 22.10% 166.641 25,970
Solihull 22.10% 47,834 8,827
Wait 21.90% 28,375 6.875
Islington 21.80% 52.907 9,644
Cheshire West and Chester 21.70% 74,613 13,665
Essex 21.60% 321.858 72,513
Stockport 21.60% 63,236 13,561
Kingston upon Thames 21.40% 38.052 8,050
St. Helens 21.20% 38.251 9,826
Wokingham 21.00% 35,961 5.155
Dudley 20.60% 66.239 15,865
Central Bedfordshire 20.60% 59,422 9.402
Hertfordshire 20.10% 238,870 46,668
Derbyshire 19.90% 159.935 29,981
Coventry 19.90% 73,802 13,562
Cheshire East 19.60% 75.417 13,604
Nottinghamshire 19.60% 162,482 33,527
Redcar and Cleveland 19.20% 26.265 5.864
North East Lincolnshire 18.80% 29,964 6.256
Cumbria 18.60% 93.237 16,412
Peterborough 18.50% 37.378 8.155
North Tyneside 17.90% 37.221 8.603
Lincolnshire 17.80% 135,665 27.109
Bromley 17.40% 57,938 16,379
Warwickshire 17.20% 99,552 19,417
Surrey 17.20% 205.177 43,581
North Lincolnshire 17.10% 29,496 6.421
Bristol, city of 16.90% 78,424 20.274
Richmond upon Thames 16.90% 33,466 7.123
Portsmouth 16.80% 36.209 8.412
Windsor and Maidenhead 16.80% 25,425 5.341
Leicestershire 16.60% 117.469 28.219
Northumberland 16.60% 53.417 12.108
Westminster 16.50% 43,090 8.807
East Riding of Yorkshire 16.30% 55,759 12,779
Brighton and Hove 16.10% 46,829 8,462
Gloucestershire 15.70% 99,881 14,410
Kensington and Chelsea 15.50% 24.224 5.632
Calderdale 15.40% 32,585 10.186
Buckinghamshire 14.90% 80,890 18,581
Bracknell Forest 14.90% 18.203 4,332
Southampton 14.80% 37,360 7.685
York 14.60% 30.787 8.101
Swindon 14.50% 32.264 6,966
Worcestershire 14.40% 85.506 17,629
East Sussex 14.30% 79,531 17,892
Camden 14.20% 38.244 8,970
North Yorkshire 13.70% 84,458 19,359
Suffolk 13.60% 103,854 16,373
West Berkshire 13.40% 21,262 3.804
South Gloucestershire 13.00% 37.056 9.458
Telford and Wrekin 12.80% 23,010 6,055
Oxfordshire 12.30% 85.410 20,640
Hampshire 12.20% 169.120 35,806
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 11.70% 46,358 12.276
Shropshire 11.70% 37,653 8.248
West Sussex 11.50% 99.337 22,086
Wiltshire 11.40% 57.040 9,037
North Somerset 11.30% 24,300 6.371
Cambridgeshire 10.10% 65.992 14,886
Norfolk 9.80% 88.646 22,066
Herefordshire, county 9.50% 18,407 3,987
Isle of Wight 9.40% 13,332 2.851
Rutland 8.90% 3,550 812
Bath and North East Somerset 8.90% 17,154 5.260
Somerset 8.30% 46,768 11,148
Plymouth 7.60% 19,973 5.745
Torbay 7.50% 10.257 2,436
Devon 5.90% 47,548 13,268
Dorset 5.80% 21,856 5.737
Cornwall 4.80% 27,617 7.325

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