Are we over the peak of the second wave?

November 6, 2020

According to the ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures based on swab tests up to four days ago, the number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the UK has improved, with overall figures starting to fall in a number of areas including Scotland and Wales.

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

  • There are currently 42,049 daily new symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average over the two weeks up to 01 November (excluding care homes) 
  • This compares to 43,569 daily new symptomatic cases a week ago
  • In the North of England and Scotland the number daily new cases has fallen in the last week
  • The number of daily new cases are still rising slowly in the South East and South West but continue to be much lower than other regions in the UK (see full table of regional results below)
  • The UK R value is 1.0 
  • Regional R values are: England, 1.0. Wales, 1.0. Scotland, 0.9.
  • Age: Infections nationally have stopped increasing in most age groups apart from modest increases in the over 60s group, which needs to be monitored closely (see graph below)

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study UK Infection Survey figures are based on around a million weekly reporters and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on the data from 13,108 recent swab tests done between 18 October to 01 November. 

Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, comments: 
“Although the number of new symptomatic cases are still high at over 40,000 daily, over the past week cases are heading in the right direction. The worst affected areas have shown the most improvement, but large differences between regions remain. Our data is an early indicator of the future NHS situation as we are two weeks ahead of hospital data and four weeks ahead of most deaths. So, while these population changes will take a while to work through, we believe they are a positive sign that we have passed the peak of this second wave. We urge everyone to respect the restrictions and help get the number of cases down as soon as possible to help the NHS, end the lockdown and get us in good shape for December.”


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