Covid-19: UK hits 96,000 new infections per day

The number of infections continues to rise across all regions of the UK, effectively doubling every nine days, according to findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI

Over 85,000 volunteers were tested in England between 16 and 25 October as part of a new Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) study, to examine the levels of infection in the general population.

The findings show that the prevalence of infection has more than doubled since the last round of testing with 1.28% infected. This means an estimated 128 people per 10,000 of England’s population has the virus that causes Covid-19, compared to 60 as of 5 October.

This corresponds to 96,000 new infections each day.

Infections have increased across all age groups and areas of the country, with the North remaining the worst affected.

Young people aged 18-24 continue to have the highest prevalence of infection but the steepest rise was seen in adults aged 55-64, which saw rates triple compared to the previous round.

The highest number of infections remain in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, where overall prevalence has more than doubled.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, 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.’

Hybrid working

Aware of the rising cases of Coronavirus, businesses are having to embrace ‘hybrid working’ – a mix of home and office working designed to minimise human contact to decrease the rate of infection.

Kevin Ellis, PwC UK chairman and senior partner, said: ‘The pandemic has accelerated changes to working patterns, bringing things forward by three or four years. Hybrid working is here to stay, and therefore the office will remain a key part of working life.

‘The future of the market for office space is difficult to predict, if anything at the moment we need more space than ever because of social distancing. From the messages I get from our people, I know that many really value having the option to use an office - whether for a personal or business need.

‘In the longer term it will be important to continue to ensure offices offer people something more than they can get at home, whether it’s working together, innovating or learning. I am sure I’m not alone in wanting this to be the case.’

Further reading:

Imperial College London study REACT 2

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