Covid cases soar to ‘highest levels ever recorded’ in UK – 1 in 5 report ‘rare’ symptoms

Sajid Javid reacts to scrapping of coronavirus restrictions

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If you’ve looked outside your window, wandered to the shops or hopped on the tube lately, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that the pandemic has receded. That’s because the UK Government has dropped virtually all remaining restrictions. However, there appears to be a yawning chasm between public health policy and Covid caseload.

“Covid cases are now at the highest levels the ZOE Covid Study has ever recorded,” warned Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London and head of the ZOE Symptom Tracker app.

The professor was reporting on the latest data published to the ZOE Covid Study, which is based on the information logged by users in the Zoe Symptom Tracker app and the results from the swab testing programme.

It identifies differences in numbers within the regions throughout the UK, and tracks the change in estimated cases over time.

According to ZOE Covid Study incidence figures, in total there are 258,155 currently new daily symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average.

A massive increase of 47 percent from 175,189 reported last week.

In terms of prevalence, on average one in 24 people in the UK currently have symptomatic Covid. In the regions, England, one in 25. Wales, one in 33. Scotland, one in 21.

New daily symptomatic cases have bounced back and are rising in all regions of England and the UK, the ZOE data shows.

New cases are also rising across all the age groups, with worryingly high increases in the older, more vulnerable age group.

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The ZOE Covid Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from around 840,000 weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests.

The latest survey figures were based on data from 54,409 recent swab tests done on symptomatic cases in the two weeks up to 14 March 2022.

Delving further into the data, the most common symptom currently reported is runny nose, accounting for 80 percent of all symptomatic cases, reports Prof Spector.

The professor said “rare” symptoms such as ear ringing and feeling unusual muscle pains are also being reported.

They are seen in about one in five symptomatic cases, he noted.

You should get tested and self-isolate for five days if you encounter any of the symptoms, advised Prof Spector.

Commenting on the latest data, Prof Spector said: comments on the latest data: “Covid cases are now at the highest levels the ZOE Covid Study has ever recorded. Even more concerning is the rise in new cases in people aged over 75.

“This vulnerable group has had low case numbers for months. We will need to wait a few weeks to see the full impact on increased hospitalisation but numbers have already started to rise.

“The data shows this pandemic is definitely not over yet and is more unpredictable than ever, despite government messages to the contrary and a lack of public health advice.”

He continued: “The ZOE COVID Study, with its 700,000 strong contributor base, remains the best tool the UK has in detecting and spotting new waves of infections.

“Although our funding from the UKHSA will stop in just a few weeks, ZOE will continue to track and monitor COVID-19 for the safety and security of the UK.”

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