The UK's coronavirus R-rate is now 0.9, meaning the outbreak has started to shrink and the end of the second wave is in sight, scientists at the Covid Symptom Study claimed today.
King's College London Epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector, who heads the project, announced today that his latest data shows that the R – the number of people infected by each individual case – is the lowest since August and this rate of new diseases is slowly falling to below 36,000 new infections per day.
Professor Spector argued that the falling R-rate was evidence that people's behavior during the three-tier lockdown had already started to lower infections, while the effects of England's national restrictions began to be felt in the data in the coming days and weeks will.
The study is based on health reports from more than one million users of the Covid Symptom Study app from health tech company ZOE and coronavirus test results logged by volunteers and official data. Although unofficial, the infection rates and R-value have been consistently estimated since the beginning of the pandemic.
It's more bullish than SAGE's official R-rate, which is said to have been between 1.1 and 1.3 last week. However, even SAGE's rate has snuck down, dropping from 1.3 to 1.6 for the UK in October.
The Covid Symptom Study now suggests that around 35,963 people develop symptomatic Covid-19 every day in the UK, up from 44,000 per day at the end of October.
The team's estimates are lower than the ONS – there were 45,700 infections per day last week – but have followed roughly the same trend in the second wave, with both now suggesting cases are falling.
Professor Spector said new coronavirus infections are falling across England and are now – for the whole of the UK – around 36,000 a day
A soldier is pictured at a coronavirus swab testing center at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool
Professor Spector said today: “The R-value for all regions of the UK is now below one, which means that the number of new cases every day is decreasing as each infected case infects less than one new person.
& # 39; The data shows that the second wave peaked in late October when it was 1/1. The number of new cases in the worst affected area, the northwest, is now at the level of early October and has an R-value of 0.8.
"This is great news for the UK, and it suggests that public behavior had an impact even before the further lockdown restrictions came in. With the numbers falling and the news of a vaccine, it feels more and more like the end." Insight. & # 39;
In other coronavirus news:
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted that he could bring Eat Out to Help Out back in the New Year to save the economy again – but it will clash with diets in January and a government fight against junk food.
- Researchers in England have found that blacks are twice as likely to get Covid-19 as whites, but are no higher risk of death if they have it – but Asians have a higher death rate.
- The capital gains tax could be widened by the government to fill the void the coronavirus epidemic has left on UK bank accounts.
- Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has admitted that millions of people may not be getting the best coronavirus vaccine possible because they are used when they are ready – the nation cannot afford to wait for the best, he said ;
- A testing expert said there was "absolutely no chance" that the rapid coronavirus tests launched in Liverpool and elsewhere for Operation Moonshot will normalize the UK after a study found they were 77% accurate.
- Health Secretary Helen Whately said the NHS Test and Trace telephone hotline misses 25,000 calls a day. Only 56 percent of calls are actually answered by the Serco system.
- A study by Public Health England found that people with learning disabilities are up to 30 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than people without.
The R-rate is a scientific measure of the spread of the virus and an estimate of the number of people each person will become infected with coronavirus. An R of one means that every infected person gives the disease to one another. The number needs to drop below one and stay there for an outbreak to shrink.
The Covid Symptom Study estimates that the current R-rate for England is 0.9 total, meaning that every 100 people with coronavirus will pass it on to 90 others who will then pass it on to 81, to 73, and the outbreak will shrink accordingly .
Most nations and regions have the same 0.9 rate – Wales, Scotland, North East England and Yorkshire, and East England. It's a bit higher in the southeast and southwest of England at 1.0 – meaning the outbreak is stable.
And it's slightly lower than the average in North West England and Northern Ireland, where rates are 0.8.
While the King's estimate is not official, and only takes into account people who actually get symptoms of the disease – many people never realize they are sick – it adds to a number of data showing that the outbreak was at least leveled off, if not declining before the second lockdown began.
The Covid Symptom Study estimates that the number of people developing coronavirus on a daily basis in the UK is now below 36,000 and has fallen from a high of around 44,000 per day in late October
SAGE's official estimate of the R-rate for the coronavirus fell in five regions of England last week and remained stable between 1.1 and 1.3 in England and the United Kingdom overall. Last week was down from 1.2 to 1.4 the week before
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggest that the number of people who contracted each day fell 12 percent in one week from 51,900 to 45,700 in the seven-day period ending October 31
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which runs a massive government surveillance system that randomly swabs tens of thousands of people to determine the size of the outbreak, suggest the outbreak will hit the country by the end of the year began to shrink in October.
& # 39; NO CHANCE & # 39; FAST COVID TESTS ARE COMING BACK TO NORMAL UK
There's "absolutely no chance" the government's new 15-minute coronavirus tests are accurate enough to get life back to normal, a senior expert warned today.
It was announced yesterday evening that ministers are to buy up to 200 million of the £ 5 kits manufactured by the US company Innova that will give a yes or no diagnosis in fifteen minutes.
Britain will buy 200 million Innova test kits
They were heralded as the key to unlocking the economy after the end of the second lockdown, so that people with a negative outcome can go to the theater, cinema or sporting event.
However, Professor Jon Deeks, a biostatistician from the University of Birmingham, warned that they could be "dangerous" if Brits who test negative see the green light to visit older grandparents.
Tests with devices from Public Health England and the University of Oxford showed that in four positive cases up to three could be detected.
However, after reviewing the data, Professor Deeks said that if they were used in real-world scenarios rather than in hospitals by a trained nurse, they could actually miss half of all infections – a finding he described as "worrying."
Professor Deeks, who is also head of the research group biostatistics, evidence synthesis and test evaluation at the university, said on Twitter: “Every second and every fourth current case of Covid-19 is overlooked. Other tests are better.
& # 39; Those who get negative results need to know that the risk of Covid is reduced, but they could still have Covid and get Covid tomorrow or next week. It is detrimental for them to believe that they are Covid-free – especially if they are cuddling their grandma now.
"How on earth can we get to a safe 'test-and-release' strategy with a test that can be missing up to one in two cases? IMHO (in my humble opinion) ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE! & # 39 ;
It has been estimated that the number of people who become infected each day fell 12 percent in one week from 51,900 to 45,700 in the seven-day period ending October 31 – the same day Boris Johnson announced the Land would face another devastating lockdown.
A MailOnline analysis of Public Health England (PHE) statistics found that more than half of local authorities across England saw their infection rates drop in late October.
Rates fell even in areas that didn't have level 2 or 3 bans, suggesting national rules like the 10 p.m. curfew and the six rule rule helped.
An updated estimate from Cambridge University of the number of people who get coronavirus in England, whether they get symptoms or not, has also gone down in the past week, but they believe the R-rate is still above one .
The Cambridge and PHE The "Nowcast" team that flows into Number 10's SAGE advisory body appreciates this In England there are 64,000 infections every day – compared to 78,000 in the previous model released on November 3rd.
But instead of admitting that the outbreak is shrinking, unlike other scientists who insist that the peak of the second wave is over, the team revamped their model to show that the virus's spread has slowed.
The team said the outbreak still appears to be picking up, although the estimate of new daily cases has fallen since the last time.
They said it was too early to see the effects of England's national lockdown in the data.
They wrote about the reproductive rate of the virus, which they refer to as Rt, which has to drop below one for the outbreak to not get bigger, saying, “The Rt values are above 1 in all regions.
& # 39; The Rt versus time charts show a plateau in most regions over the past few weeks, with downward trends in the North East, Yorkshire and the North West.
'These lower Rt values could be the result of various social distancing measures, but the effects are not strong enough to bring the Rt values below 1.
"These trends in RT scores and new infections over time were recently interrupted by the school half-year, the impact of which is reflected in our model by incorporating data from the Department of Education and Google mobility data."
They added: “After this period, the values of Rt will return to their pre-halftime values.
& # 39; Since Rt stays above 1, the number of new infections occurring every day will continue to increase.
& # 39; The lockdown introduced on November 5th will have resulted in changes in contact patterns that cannot yet be quantified.
"These could affect the estimate of Rt in the near future, which will be reflected in the weekly iterations of our model."
The coronavirus is spreading fastest in the Midlands, the report said. Almost a third of the country's daily infections occur there – around 20,100.
It is followed by the North West at an estimated 12,600 per day, then the North East and Yorkshire (9,060).
In London and the south east it is 5,920 per day, in the east of England 4,830 and in the south west 3,460.
R is estimated to be highest in the Southeast and Southwest (1.44 and 1.43) and lowest in the Northwest and Northeast (1.11 and 1.14).
The Southeast and Southwest continue to have some of the lowest infection rates in the country, but they also have the highest R-rates, so it must be watched closely
Researchers estimate that the Midlands (right) account for almost a third of all new infections per day at 20,000, while in London only about 6,000 occur per day
There are an estimated 12,600 new infections per day in the North West, along with 9,060 in the North East and Yorkshire. Although these areas make up two of the three areas with the highest transmission, they also have the lowest R-rates, suggesting that the outbreak is starting to grow too slowly
Given the growing demand on Number 10 to reassess whether it really is necessary for the entire nation to be affected by the toughest rules since spring, the prime minister's spokesman said on Friday: “The lockdown will last four weeks until December 2nd . As we said earlier, the trend in hospital admissions is increasing. & # 39;
MILLIONS COULD MISS ON THE BEST VACCINE DUE TO THE RACE TO ROLL IT OUT
Millions of people could be missing out on the best Covid-19 vaccines because they have to be issued as soon as possible, one of England's top health authorities has admitted.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, one of the deputy chief physicians, said speed is of the essence and the country must not "let the perfect become the enemy of the good".
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam
The people most susceptible to Covid-19, such as the elderly and those with cancer, must have the first high-quality vaccine made available to stop the epidemic, he said.
Scientists admit that this will likely mean millions of people will get an imperfect vaccine, but getting an early vaccine would save more lives than waiting for a better one.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their push could be 90 percent effective and could be available to the public as early as next month. This sparked an urge to find out who gets the push first, how it is spent and when will arrive.
Professor Van-Tam and colleagues from UK regulators MHRA and JCVI said yesterday that nursing home staff and residents would receive the vaccine in the first phase, followed by those over 50 and people with serious health problems if there was enough to get around.
Results are also expected from trials of the Oxford University vaccine next week and, if good, could result in one becoming available even sooner than Pfizer's.
And the urgency to stop the UK Covid-19 outbreak means whoever is ready and licensed first will be issued first.
The system could mean that young people – who are the last to get a sting because their risk is lowest – will get a sting that actually works better if a later vaccine ends up better than the early vaccine.
Kate Bingham, Chair of the UK Vaccine Task Force, has admitted in the past that the first few strikes against the coronavirus are likely not the best.
The promising update comes as the UK's prospects of getting a coronavirus vaccine by next month jumped this week as pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their effects appear 90 percent effective and are nearing the end of their clinical trial .
This week, the companies announced that the sting, which was administered to more than 20,000 people in a clinical trial, enabled fewer than nine participants to be infected, compared with more than 80 in a group who received a false sting.
The UK has already ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine, 10 million of which could be available before the end of 2020.
Boris Johnson this week called on the British to abide by current rules to weather the second wave of coronavirus, pledging that Britain will be at the forefront of a new vaccine after a massive breakthrough.
The FTSE 100 index rose on the backdrop of the bombshell announcement, with shares in airlines and hotel companies rising globally – despite Zoom seeing a fall in value.
At a press conference yesterday, Mr Johnson said the UK was "at the forefront" to receive the critical shocks and that enough had been ordered for a third of the population.
He warned, however, that the biggest mistake the country could make now was "loosening our resolve". "Now it's more important than ever to obey the rules," he said.
Mr Johnson referred to his earlier comments about the "distant scientific cavalry bugle coming over the forehead of the hill" to save the day. "I can tell you the honking is louder tonight, but it is still some way off. We absolutely cannot rely on this message for a solution," he said.
"The biggest mistake we could make now would be to loosen our resolve at a critical moment."
He added, “I just don't want to let people run away with the idea that this development is a home run, a slam dunk, a shot in the back of the net. I'm afraid it's a long way to go before we beat this thing. & # 39;
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam was excited about Pfizer's announcement, saying it was well suited for other test vaccines as they used the same broad approach, targeting the virus' spike proteins that allow it to enter cells .
But he also warned that "a swallow" does not make summer and that there could not yet be any relaxation of social distancing measures.
MailOnline expects safety and efficacy data from Oxford University to be available and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to be released next week. This means the actual sting approval process could begin weeks before Pfizer – giving the UK a second chance to get a sting before Christmas.
The Pfizer chairman hailed the breakthrough as a "big day for science and humanity" while independent experts said the results were "excellent" and "really impressive".
Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to apply for approval to have the engraving in the US as soon as possible. However, you will have to wait for the long-term security data to be complete. There are also concerns about the logistical challenges involved in distributing large numbers of cans that must be stored at around -70 ° C.
DATA SHOWING THE SECOND PEAK HAS PASSED
TRUE DAILY INFECTIONS ARE BELOW
Promising figures released Friday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) – behind a surveillance system that happens to be wiping tens of thousands of people down to track the size of the outbreak – indicated that the country's coronavirus outbreak had slowed .
It has been estimated that the number of people who contracted each day fell 12 percent in one week from 51,900 to 45,700 in the seven-day period ending October 31 – the day Boris Johnson announced the Land would fall into another economically crippling lockdown.
Tens of thousands of people are still infected every day, but the rate of spread of the virus is "less than in the past few weeks," according to the ONS.
OFFICIAL FIGURES ARE ALSO BELOW
Health ministry data yesterday showed that an additional 20,412 Covid-19 cases had been recorded, bringing the total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic started nearing 1.2 million.
However, the number of diagnosed cases – which is always lower than the actual estimated number of infections – was only slightly higher than last Tuesday (20,018).
Infection rates are falling in most countries
MailOnline's analysis of Public Health England (PHE) statistics on Friday found that more than half of local authorities scattered across England saw their infection rates drop in late October.
And rates fell even in areas that didn't have level 2 or 3 bans, suggesting national rules like the 10 p.m. curfew and the six rule helped.
Britain's rate is stable
SAGE on Friday announced that the UK's R-Rate has remained between 1.1 and 1.3 for the second straight week.
It has fallen in five out of seven regions of England, including the Northwest, Northeast and the Midlands, where 10 million people have already lived under the toughest third-tier curbs.
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