People should assume they have the coronavirus, a leading Covid expert has said as the percentage of those testing positive continues to rise.
The Office for National Statistics, which conducts a survey based on swabs from randomly selected households, has estimated that between 27 December and 2 January, about 1.12 million people – or 1 in 50 people – in the community in England had coronavirus, up from 1 in 85 between 12 and 18 December.
The rate of those testing positive is highest in London. Data from mid-December suggests the capital, the south-east and the east of England also have the highest proportion of cases that appear to be related to the new UK variant of the virus.
“One in 30 people in London are testing positive and many of them have no symptoms,” said Steven Riley, a professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London and a member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M).
“If we are ever going to protect our family, friends and colleagues by behaving as if we have the virus, the time is now,” he added.
While there are some indications that the increase in the rate of positive tests could be slowing slightly in London and other regions that have been under tier 4 restrictions for weeks, the ONS team urged caution.
Behave as if you have Covid, virus expert tells people in England The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Guardian.