COVID cases halved in two weeks

January 22, 2021

According to the ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures, there are currently, 34,133 daily new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on swab tests data from up to five days ago [*]. This compares to 53,528 daily new symptomatic cases a week ago, a decrease of 26% and 69,958 two weeks ago, a decrease of 51%. 

Other key findings from ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey this week: 

  • The UK R value is 0.8
  • Regional R values are: England, 0.8. Wales, 0.8. Scotland, 0.8. (full table below) 
  • According to the data daily new cases are falling in all regions of the UK with all R values below 1.0. 
  • The slowest decreases are seen in the North West, West Midland and South West, all with R values of 0.9. 
  • The highest risk areas in the UK are currently, London (1 in 54), Liverpool City Region (1 in 63) and Essex Thurrock & Southend (1 in 63) (full tables of results below)
  • Cases are coming down rapidly in the 20-49 year olds that form the majority of cases, but more slowly in the 0-19 and 60+ age groups (see graph below)

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures are based on around one million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 19,335 recent swab tests done between 3 to 17 January 2021.

Tim Spector OBE, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app and Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, comments on the latest data:
“According to ZOE app data, cases peaked on 1 January and like confirmed cases, we’ve seen cases continuing to fall with an estimated R of 0.8. However, we expect these rapid downward trends will slow down, as we have seen before with this virus. Hospital admissions are still high with hospitals full with 23-55% Covid patients across the country. But admissions have started to flatten, and if the trend continues we expect hospital admissions to fall next week and deaths to start plateauing and falling in the near future. Signs are hopeful we’re on our way out of this situation but risk of infection still remains high and we still have a way to go. ZOE app contributors are also now logging their vaccines, so we’re now monitoring the roll out and hope soon to see a direct impact on the numbers.”

Worst affected region in England:

Incidence / Daily new symptomatic cases regional breakdown [*] 




The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey results over time for the UK

Table of R Values

Map of UK prevalence figures

Estimated rate of people with Symptomatic COVID across age groups



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