'One in 400' people in England currently infected with coronavirus

14 May 2020, 17:06 | Updated: 14 May 2020, 18:35

The study tested 10,705 people in more than 5,000 households
The study tested 10,705 people in more than 5,000 households. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

148,000 people in England have been infected with coronavirus over the past two weeks, a study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

10,705 people in more than 5,000 households were tested and the results show that 0.27% of the population in England are currently positive with Covid-19.

According to the survey, around one in 400 people have the coronavirus, or - 0.27% of the population.

This translates to around 10,000 people a day across the entire population between April 27 and May 10, 2020.

Government policy will be informed by the findings as it considers the next steps to further ease restrictions in the coming weeks.

The results reveal far higher infection rates among those working with patients in healthcare and those in social care roles. Around 1.33% of these participants tested positive.

The figures do not include people in hospitals or care homes where coronavirus cases are likely to be higher.

In terms of the R, the effective reproduction number of the virus, the result does not give a direct measurement.

The current number is a snapshot while R is about the gradient of the curve and is calculated using the current infection rates and other data, such as hospital admissions.

It comes amid fears among teachers and parents about the prospect of schools reopening on June 1.

No evidence was found of differences in the proportions testing positive between the age categories 2 to 19, 20 to 49, 50 to 69 and 70 years and over.

However, according to ONS statistics, 91% of coronavirus deaths have been of people with serious underlying conditions, 88% have been people over 65 and the number of deaths of people aged under 50 is so small it isn't represented on charts.

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