Latest figures confirm the UK is not at the start of a second wave - and is still trying to end the first

The UK is not at the beginning of a second coronavirus wave, and is still trying to end the first, new data suggests.

By Nina Massey, PA Science Correspondent
Thursday, 13th August 2020, 1:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th August 2020, 1:30 pm

There were 1,434 daily new cases in the UK on average over the two weeks up to August 8, excluding care homes, according to the latest Covid Symptom Study app figures.

The latest figures are based on the data from 10,988 swab tests taken between July 26 and August 8.

The latest prevalence figures estimate that 24,131 people in the UK currently have symptomatic Covid-19.

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Latest figures confirm the UKis not at start of second wave

According to the data, the amount of symptomatic coronavirus nationally has remained stable.

The numbers are still higher in the North of England but have slightly decreased since last week.

The figure does not include long-term Covid-19 sufferers.

The Covid Symptom Study app’s prevalence estimate is lower, but still within the confidence bounds of the most recent ONS Infection survey last week, with an estimated 28,300 people in England during the one-week period from July 27 to August 2.

Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said: “It’s encouraging to see that the numbers are coming down slightly across the UK and that the isolated outbreaks in the North of England appear to be well contained so far.

“This is further confirmation that we aren’t at the beginning of a second wave and rather, still trying to end the first. The figures also suggest that the outbreaks we are seeing in other countries such as Belgium, France and Spain aren’t having an effect here in the UK yet.

“On top of this, the hot weather which caused concern by making many flock to crowded beaches and parks doesn’t seem to be having the predicted negative impact.

“Overall, we are pleasantly surprised by the figures this week, which are back down to the early July levels and hope that the good news continues.”

The Covid Symptom Study app’s Watch List highlights key areas of concern so they can be focused on.

This week a number of new locations have made the list, including the first area in Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway, Thurrock in Essex, and more regions in the North of England, St Helens, Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Lancashire.

Blackburn with Darwen has fallen from the top spot to sixth in the table, while Halton in Merseyside has moved to the top slot, making it the one to watch.

When an area of concern is highlighted, it means enhanced testing can take place to help confirm if the situation needs further action such as a localised lockdown.

Developed by healthcare science company, ZOE, the Covid Symptom Study app has been downloaded by more than 3.9 million people in the UK.

Data collected is shared with and analysed by King’s College London.