23.05.2022

Daily Covid-19 cases in decline, according to Zoe tracking app data

The Midlands was found to be the only region of the UK where case numbers were still rising, now reaching the same levels as the northeast and Yorkshire. The R value in the northwest was 0.8, the lowest for any region and lower than the UK-wide value of 0.9, according to Zoe data.

The latest figures from Zoe record a daily new case total of 35,963, down more than 6,000 from last week’s figure.

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, where Zoe data is analysed, said: “Cases coming down across most areas of the UK is good news but the numbers are still high in most areas, and with a prevalence of over 500,000 infected people there is still a lot of virus in the population.

“Yesterday, we reported that the R value was below 1 across all UK nations for the first time and we need this trend to continue.”

Despite the overall drop in daily cases, Prof Spector said “we aren’t out of trouble yet”, adding that the reason behind rising cases in the Midlands was unclear.

The data from Zoe paints a different picture than official UK government figures.

As of Friday morning, the government reported an R value of 1.1-1.3 across the UK, with a growth rate of 2-4 per cent.

All regions recorded an R value of 1 or above, the rate in northwest for instance had an R value of 1.0-1.1 as of 6 November.

The Zoe figures are based on the proportion of all app users — around one million — who report positive swab tests. The latest figures were based on the data from 13,460 recent swab tests reported between 25 October and 8 November.

The Covid Symptom Study app was developed by health science company Zoe and is endorsed by the Welsh and Scottish governments, NHS Wales and NHS Scotland.

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