Number of people in England with Covid symptoms rises by just 0.6% in a week


Number of people in England with Covid symptoms rises by just 0.6% in a week – but expert behind app tracking outbreak insists slight spike from schools reopening is ‘well under control’

  • Covid Symptom Study app estimated there were 3,245 daily symptomatic infections in week to March 21
  • Professor Tim Spector, who leads the app, said the slight rise was linked to the reopening of schools
  • It comes after Public Health England data yesterday showed cases were rising among school children 

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England’s coronavirus outbreak grew by less than one per cent last week according to a symptom tracking app – but an expert insists cases are ‘under control’ and the slight rise has been sparked by schools.

The Covid Symptom Study app estimated there were 3,245 daily symptomatic infections with the virus in the week to March 21, a rise of 0.6 per cent on the 3,226 reported for the week before. This was more than 93 per cent below the peak in January, when there were an estimated 69,000 new infections a day.

Professor Tim Spector, who leads the app, said the figures showed cases were rising slightly ‘off the back of schools reopening’ but that the numbers are ‘currently well under control and aren’t a cause for concern’.

The King’s College London epidemiologist added that cases were rising faster in Wales and Scotland, where schools went back earlier but with a more staggered reopening with only younger year groups asked back at first.

Boris Johnson reopened England’s schools to all pupils on March 8, but they were required to test themselves for the virus twice weekly to avoid other outbreaks.

It comes after official data from Public Health England yesterday suggested cases were rising across a third of England, but that this was linked to a rise among schoolchildren only.

Experts say this rise is linked to kids going back to school and a doubling in the number of tests being done – to an average of 1.1million a day – which is leading to more cases being detected. 

Covid cases in England rose by less than one per cent last week, according to the King’s College Covid-19 Symptom study app. But Professor Tim Spector, who leads the app, said the cases were under control

The King's College London epidemiologist said cases were rising among schoolchildren, which was to be expected as they had been invited back to classrooms. He added the rise was happening faster in Scotland and Wales

The King’s College London epidemiologist said cases were rising among schoolchildren, which was to be expected as they had been invited back to classrooms. He added the rise was happening faster in Scotland and Wales

Boris Johnson has asked all pupils to test themselves for the virus twice a week to root out any outbreaks early

Boris Johnson has asked all pupils to test themselves for the virus twice a week to root out any outbreaks early

Prevalence figures for the UK showed the outbreak appears to be focussed in the north of England, Wales and central Scotland

Prevalence figures for the UK showed the outbreak appears to be focussed in the north of England, Wales and central Scotland

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