Woman in glasses receives Covid test from man wearing PPE.

ICL study suggests almost 100,000 new Covid cases per day

Interim results from the sixth report into Covid-19 infections in England published by Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI today (Oct 29) have revealed that almost 100,000 people could b infected with Covid-19 every day.

Official data says that 24,700 cases were reported on Wednesday, however the REACT study also tests asymptomatic people tog et a better sense of how the virus is spreading across the country more generally, not just people who are displaying symptoms.

The study suggests that the R rate is rising highest in the South, with cases doubling every 9 days and the South West, South East, North East and London all having R rates of above 2.

The South West is seeing a particular spike amongst young people, suggesting a similar pattern to that that the North West saw a month ago.

The North continues to have the hardest hit regions with Yorkshire at the Humber with one in 37 people being infected with the virus, with the North West following.

One of the authors, Prof Steven Riley, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government may need to "think about changing the approach" in England.

Director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, Professor Paul Elliott, said:

“These interim findings paint a concerning picture of the situation in England, where we’re seeing a nation-wide increase in infection prevalence, which we know will lead to more hospitalisations and loss of life.

“We’re also detecting early signs that areas which previously had low rates of infection are following trends observed in the country’s worst-affected areas.

“Now more than ever we must all work together to curb further spread of the virus and avoid subsequent overwhelming of the health service.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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