According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are “substantial differences” in the Covid-19 infection rates in England, although the national picture suggests there may be some impact from lockdown.
Data from Nov. 8-14 suggests that the overall national infection rate for England is similar to the week before, but there are strong regional differences, with rates rising among primary school children.
The ONS said, “Over the past week, infection rates have continued to rise in London, the East of England and the Southeast, but rates now appear to be falling in the Northwest and East Midlands.
“The highest Covid-19 infection rates remain in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.”
The estimates for cases are based on 665,759 smear tests in people’s homes in England over the past six weeks, regardless of whether people have symptoms.
The ONS said the highest infection rates occur in high school children, older teens and young adults and the rates continue to rise in elementary school children.
Meanwhile, infection rates seem to be leveling off in people 25 and older.
Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “There are early signs that the national level of infections in England is leveling off, but this hides a lot of variation at the regional level.
“While the highest rates of infection are still in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, rates are now declining in the North West and East Midlands, while increasing in London, the East of England and the South East.
“New increases seem to be caused by infections in younger people, with rising levels in elementary school-age children.
“Elsewhere in the UK, we see a similar picture with infections increasing in October, now decreasing in Wales and Northern Ireland and leveling off in Scotland.”
The ONS said there were an average of 38,900 new cases of Covid-19 per day in private households in England between November 8 and 14.
This is down from an estimated 47,700 new cases per day from October 31 to November 6.
Figures do not include people staying in hospitals, nursing homes or other institutional settings.
Professor James Naismith of the University of Oxford analyzed the data and said: “The ONS data continues with a series of data indicating that the number of new infections is now starting to decline.
“These numbers would be the first that we hope the national lockdown starts to take effect.”
Meanwhile, data from the Zoe app coronavirus study conducted by King’s College London suggests that the UK reproductive rate – the R value – is around 1.
The R represents the average number of people who infect someone with Covid-19.
The Zoe app team put the R at 1.0 in England and 0.9 in Wales and Scotland.
But it said “alarmingly, the East of England and especially the Midlands are seeing both numbers still increasing with R-values of 1.1 and 1 respectively”.
Meanwhile, the Northwest and Northeast and Yorkshire both have R-values of 0.9 as cases decline.
In the Southeast, London and Southwest, cases are not decreasing, the researchers said, and the R is 1.
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said: “The reason we’re now seeing an overall R-value of 1 in England is because numbers are falling in the north, rising in the Midlands, and in the east, but flat. stay in the south of England.
“The continued rise in the Midlands, despite the national lockdown, is worrying.
“This suggests that an approach aimed at improving compliance at a regional, not national level, is the best way forward over a longer period of time.
“We need to keep the number of cases low enough to function as a nation until vaccines arrive without further harmful lockdowns.”