A new report on our real-time tracking of COVID-19 has been published today.
We have highlighted the key updates and provided interpretation of what these updates mean. We have also explained our recent model and report changes.
If you would like further information and to speak with the researchers leading this work, please contact Alison Quenault (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any press enquiries can also be directed to Alison.
- Our current estimate of the number of infections occurring each day across England is 53,200 (35,100–82,100, 95% credible interval).
- We predict that the number of deaths each day is likely to be between 230 and 515 on the 31st of October.
- We estimate Rt to be above 1 in most regions with a 100% probability, apart from the Midlands, the South East and London for which the probability of Rt exceeding 1 is 99%, 97% and 95%, respectively.
- London, followed by the North West, continues to have the highest attack rate, that is the proportion of the population who have ever been infected, at 20% and 16% respectively. The South West continues to have the lowest attack rate (4%).
- The estimated growth rate for England is 0.07 (0.05–0.08, 95% credible interval) per day. This means that the number of infections is growing by 7% each day. This translates into a doubling in number of new infections approximately every 10-days.
- The number of daily infections continue to rise, and are particularly high in the North West and the North East and Yorkshire (18,200 and 16,700 infections per day, respectively). Note that a substantial proportion of these daily infections will be asymptomatic.
- Transmission as measured by the Rt values is increasing in the East of England and the South West, while showing a plateauing in the North East and the South East and a slight decrease in the remaining regions.
- However, deaths data used are only weakly informative on Rt over the last two weeks and are still occurring in relatively small numbers. Therefore, the estimate for current incidence, Rt and the forecast of daily numbers of deaths are very uncertain.
Quote from Professor Daniela De Angelis (Deputy Director and Programme Leader at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge)
“Our latest results reveal that R is in the range 1.1-1.5 across all the seven NHS regions with the number of new daily infections around 50,000 (range 35,000-80,000) nationwide, concentrated particularly in the North East and North West.
However, transmission seems to be accelerating in the East of England and the South West. These two regions are the only with growth rates not currently plateauing. This situation needs to be monitored closely over the coming period.”
Model and report changes
- The definition of deaths has been adapted to include all deaths that occur in individuals who have had lab-confirmed infection within 60 days from the date of their most recent positive test. This definition reflects more realistically the burden of COVID-19.
- Using observations of improved survival in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, we have allowed the probability of dying following infection with SARS-CoV2 (the infection-fatality rate, IFR) to gradually change over the course of June 2020, with a decrease being estimated.
- The model uses seroprevalence data on the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in blood samples taken by NHSBT to estimate the levels of cumulative infection within the population over time. As, from early June, the NHSBT has been giving a constantly declining prevalence of antibodies, these data have been curtailed at this point.
Link to full report: https://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/nowcasting-and-forecasting-21st-october-2020/