New study says 100,000 people catching coronavirus every day in England
London, Oct. 29, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Nearly 100,000 people are catching coronavirus every day in England, a major analysis suggests.
BBC quotes the study, by Imperial College London, saying the pace of the epidemic is accelerating and estimates the number of people infected is now doubling every nine days.
The authors say we are at a “critical stage” and “something has to change”.
France and Germany have turned to forms of lockdown to control the virus.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told BBC Breakfast the government wanted to “try to avoid having a national blanket approach” to coronavirus restrictions in England, where a regional three-tier alert system is in place.
“We don’t have a plan, today, to do a full national lockdown,” he said, adding such a move “would be destructive to people’s lives and livelihoods and broader health and wellbeing”.
A national “firebreak” lockdown is ongoing in Wales, while Northern Ireland has tightened restrictions, including closing schools, and Scotland has confirmed details of its new tiered alert system.
Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold a news conference to outline “steps he will now take to get control of the virus and save lives”.
Experts are warning that we are fast approaching the peak in infections seen in the spring.
The React-1 study is highly influential because it is the most up-to-date assessment of Covid-19 in the country, with the last swabs taken only on Sunday and nearly 86,000 volunteers taking part.
A further 24,701 new coronavirus cases were reported on Thursday – but the Imperial College study randomly tests asymptomatic people to estimate the number of overall new infections.
It shows cases are rising in every age group and in every region of England.
While cases are currently highest in northern England, infections are surging more rapidly in southern parts.
The study compared the latest swabs collected between 16 and 25 October with the last round of swabs, between 18 September and 5 October.
It found that, on average, every infected person in London was passing on the virus to nearly three other people – although there is some uncertainty in the figure, it is the highest estimated rate in England.
And it also suggests:
- The number of people infected has more than doubled since the last round, with one in every 78 people now testing positive
- The hardest hit area is Yorkshire and the Humber, where one in every 37 people has the virus, followed by the North West region
- Three times as many people aged 55-64 are infected, compared with the previous month’s study, and twice as many over 65s
- The pace of the epidemic has accelerated with the R number – the number of people each infected person passes the virus on to on average – increasing from 1.15 to 1.56
- Overall, the number of people infected is doubling every nine days
- The South East, South West, east of England and London all have an R above 2.0
- Cases are spiking in young people in the South West in a repeat of the pattern seen in northern England just over a month ago
- There are 96,000 people catching the virus every day