Swab tests on more than 105,000 people have shown that Covid-19 infection is declining in England, according to an interim report from the Real-Time Assessment Program for Community Transmission (REACT).
The report includes the results of home coronavirus tests conducted between November 13 and 24, and shows that “an estimated 0.96% of the population of England is infected with the virus, or about 1 in 100 people.”
According to researchers from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORE, “This is an almost 30% decrease in the number of infections compared to previous results, with more than 1 in 80 or 1.3% of people contracting the virus as of November 2nd.”
The four-week nationwide lockdown in England, which has seen non-essential businesses shutting down and residents asking not to mix with other families, began on November 5 and ends on Wednesday.
This came after the United Kingdom was hit by a second wave of infection, which particularly affected areas in the north of England. The government introduced a local system for the country, according to which areas with high infections were placed under more stringent restrictions than other regions. England will return to the Tiered System on Wednesday.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of infections nationally and especially across regions that were previously the most affected. These trends indicate that the tiered approach has helped reduce infections in these areas and this lockdown has added to this effect, Elliott, Program Manager at Imperial,” said Ball. .
They found that cases decreased in most parts of England, and drastically in the country’s former hotspots in the north, dropping by more than 50%. There has been very little change in London and the East Midlands, but the rapid growth of the epidemic seen in the capital and the south in mid to late October is no longer evident.
According to the report, the West Midlands now has the largest number of infections at 1.55% of the population.
The research showed that the R number (or the reproduction number, which indicates how many other people each person transmits the virus to) has decreased from less than 1 to an estimated 0.88, “which means that the epidemic in the country is currently shrinking rather than growing.” According to the researchers.
London had the country’s highest R numbers at 0.95, while the lowest numbers were in Northwest and Northeast England at 0.76 and 0.78, respectively.
The researchers also drew attention to the fact that “the virus has an uneven effect” on people, with health workers, people living in large families, and individuals from ethnic minorities more vulnerable to infection.
The report said that there was also a link to deprivation and that residents of the poorest regions had the highest number of infections. The researchers said this indicates that social inequality could contribute to further spread of the virus in certain societies.
Other scientists have raised questions about how asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 affect the number of virus cases.
At the latest [REACT] Mark Woolhouse, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, told the Media Science Center in the United Kingdom that about 40% of those who tested positive for the virus did not show symptoms at the time the sample was taken.
He noted that this was about 1 in 200 people, which is equivalent to more than 250,000 cases across England.
Woolhouse said the results support the UK government’s goal “to make mass testing available as widely as possible to find large numbers of people who might be contagious without knowing it.”