Today we have published a new report on our real-time tracking of COVID-19 .
We have highlighted the key updates and provided interpretation of what these updates mean. We have also explained our recent model and report changes.
- Our current estimate of the daily number of new infections occurring each day across England is 77,600 (53,400–113,000, 95% credible interval).
- The daily number of new infections is particularly high in the Midlands, the North West and the North East and Yorkshire (20,400, 16,800 and 13,100 infections per day, respectively). Note that a substantial proportion of these daily infections will be asymptomatic.
- We predict that the number of deaths each day is likely to be between 380 and 710 on the 14th of November.
- We estimate Rt to be above 1 in most regions with almost 100% probability.
- The growth rate for England is estimated at 0.05 (0.03–0.06, 95% credible interval) per day. This means that the number of infections is growing by 5% each day. This translates into a doubling in the number of new infections approximately every 15 days.
- 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 21% and 18% respectively. The South West continues to have the lowest attack rate (4%).
- Note that the deaths data used are only weakly informative on Rt over the last two weeks and are still occurring in relatively small numbers in some regions. Therefore, the estimate for current incidence, Rt and the forecast of daily numbers of deaths remain very uncertain.
The Rt values are above 1 in all regions. The plots of the Rt over time show a plateauing in most regions in the most recent weeks, with decreases in the North East and Yorkshire and the North West. However, as Rt is remaining above 1, the number of new infections continues to rise, although at a slower rate in some regions. These lower values of Rt might be the result of various social distancing interventions, but the impact is not strong enough to reduce the Rt values below 1. The rise in the number of new infections will continue unless additional and more effective interventions are introduced. We will monitor our estimates as the measures announced on Saturday 31st October are put in place.
Quote from lead researcher – Professor Daniela De Angelis, Programme Leader and Deputy Director
“Rt values are slowly decreasing, but they remain above 1 in all regions. The number of infections has increased to around 80,000 per day and will continue to increase, leading to steep rise in mortality in the near future. Curtailing this transmission requires sustained social distancing interventions. We welcome the new measures announced on the 31st of October.”
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, and these data have been curtailed at this point.
Link to full report: https://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/nowcasting-and-forecasting-3rd-november-2020/
Contact for media enquiries
Alison Quenault, Communications Manager at MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge