Covid-19 increasing overwhelmingly across all age groups in UK: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 02, 2020 Published on October 02, 2020

As much as 0.55% of the population now has Covid compared with 0.13% in the previous round of testing, finds Imperial College-led research

According to the Imperial College-led research published on its official website, the coronavirus infection has grown overwhelmingly across all age groups in the United Kingdom.

The researchers examined swab tests of more than 80,000 people out of a total of 150,000, taken between September 18-26.

It estimated that over one in 200 people across England have the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or 0.55 per cent of the population, compared with 0.13 per cent in the previous round of testing.

Prof Paul Elliott from the School of Public Health, Imperial, said in an official statement: “The prevalence of infection is the highest that we have recorded to date. This reinforces the need for protective measures to limit the spread of the disease.”

However, the sharpest spike was seen among people who were 65 and above. A similar increase was found in those aged between 55-64. While young people continued to have the highest rates of infection, with one in 100 estimated to have the virus.

The reproduction (R) number of the virus decreased from 1.7 to 1.1 but with a wide possible range for the recent value of 0.7 to 1.5.

This suggested that the rate of new infections has decreased, but an R above one would mean cases will continue to rise if current trends continue.

Also read: UK scientists to study how long can the coronavirus survive in the air

According to Professor Paul Elliott, the latest findings show some early evidence that the growth of new cases may have slowed. This could be due to efforts to control the infection are working.

Prevalence of Covid

The prevalence of coronavirus was highest in those aged 18-24 at 0.96 per cent. In those aged 65 and above, prevalence increased seven-fold from 0.04 per cent to 0.29 per cent compared to the last report.

Similar to the previous report, Black and Asian people were found to be twice as likely to be infected compared to white people.

Professor Steven Riley, study author and Professor of Infectious Disease Dynamics at Imperial, said: “These findings highlight that the situation in England is fast-moving, and demonstrate the need for continued engagement from the public to prevent unnecessary hospitalisations and deaths. Our ongoing community testing programme is helping to ensure that the UK response is based on current, robust evidence.”

The final report and findings of all 150,000 volunteers tested between September 18 and October 5 will be published next week.

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Published on October 02, 2020