ONS releases estimates of COVID-19 infections in England

Preliminary estimates of the number of COVID-19 infections in the England have been released as part of a survey by the ONS.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), in partnership with the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, Public Health England and Wellcome Trust, has released data collected from a population study of approximately 25,000 people tested for COVID-19 (excluding those in a hospital or care home setting). The aim of the survey is to track how the virus is spreading throughout the country, to give a more accurate estimation of how many people are currently infected, and gain a better understanding of population immunity.

Participants were required to perform a daily home-test which was analysed for the virus, and report any symptoms they may have experienced that day. Occasionally, participants were asked to provide a blood sample for antibody testing.

The result of this survey indicates that there are approximately 148,000 people in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 between 27th April and 10th May 2020 (approximately 0.27% of the population).  Unsurprisingly, those participants who work in patient-facing roles reported a higher infection rate at approximately 1.33%, compared to 0.22% in those who do not. In addition, there appeared to be no difference in the proportion of participants testing positive across age groups.

This initial data pool was limited to participants in England only, although it has been stated that it may be extended to the whole of the UK. This would allow for regional data analysis and better understanding of the virus’s transmission, as well as providing insight as to how symptom presentation correlates with infection.

Click here to see the full ONS report.

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Published on 15. May 2020 in News, News UK