Indian or South African variants yet to make an impact

April 22, 2021

According to the ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures, there are currently 1,165 new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on swab test data from up to five days ago [*]. This compares to 1,601 daily cases a week ago, a decrease of 28% from last week. In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 2,753 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. (Full table of regional results below).

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, 1.0 Scotland, 0.8 
  • A six-fold difference between the highest region, North West (250 cases per day) and lowest region, South West (36 cases per day) which is recording very low levels (full regional breakdown included in table below) 
  • The average prevalence for symptomatic disease across the UK is 1 in 2,753 (full regional breakdown included in the table below)
  • The latest data from the Southwark and Lambeth areas in South London has continued to stay low, despite concerns about new variants in those areas

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 received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 5,370 recent swab tests done between 3 April to 17 April 2021.

The app is delivered in collaboration with King’s Health Partners, an Academic Health Sciences Centre based in South East London.

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:
“Rates are down 28% again this week and hopefully we’ll drop below the milestone of 1,000 cases in the next few days towards our record low last year in August. The ONS survey is also now showing downward trends. I am encouraged to see no impact from the South African  variant in the areas of Southwark and Lambeth where some expected it to get out of control. This is likely due to the vaccination programme, the continuation of social distancing measures and the improving weather making it harder now for any new variant to take hold.” 

Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table 



The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey results over time 

A graph comparing all surveillance surveys in England (ONS, REACT-1 & CSS) 



Map of UK prevalence figures


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