Swab Survey Shows CCP Virus Infections Falling in England

November 26, 2020 Updated: November 26, 2020

Infections of the CCP virus were already dropping in the second week of lockdown in England, according to estimates from a weekly swab-sample survey published today.

The results are consistent with other data that suggests the so-called second wave of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus was already fading before Nov. 5, when the lockdown was enforced.

According to the latest COVID-19 Infection Survey, in England, 633,000 people had the CCP virus over the week ending Nov. 21—around one in 80 people—down from 664,000 the previous week.

The previous weekly figures suggested the infection rate had already levelled off.

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Infections were still rising in the East Midlands and the North East, according to the survey data, which was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The rate of infection was highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, where the number of virus cases have changed little for the last month.

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The ONS notes that there are still differences in age.

“Increases in the positivity rate can only be seen in secondary school-age children and positivity rates have decreased in adults aged 35 years and over,” said a statement. “It appears that rates among the youngest age group as well as those aged school year 12 to age 24 years and 25 to 34 years are levelling off.”

Rates are highest among secondary school-age children and young adults.

The survey provides a slightly delayed snapshot of the number of infections nationwide per week by using swab samples collected from a pool of volunteers to establish levels of infections from different regions—and then scales up with some modeling.

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It is a separate measure from simply counting the number of positive tests carried nationwide under the Test and Trace service—which is impacted by levels of testing.

An even more up-to-the-minute method of tracking infections, which uses a phone app to track symptoms, shows that infections nationally are continuing to drop at a faster rate after peaking around Nov. 5—the day that England started the second national lockdown.

“The good news is that our latest analysis for the whole of the UK shows that we are past the peak of new COVID-19 cases, which probably occurred before we went into Lockdown 2.0,” said a statement for the COVID Symptom Study on Nov. 23. “The bad news is that this positive trend masks significant regional differences.”

According to the statement, some of the regional trends are difficult to explain. For example, “London, which was badly hit in the first wave, has not increased dramatically as feared, apparently peaking at the third week of October and now levelling off,” they note.

By contrast, cases in the Midlands have risen steadily since the beginning of October and continued during lockdown, despite many areas being under tight restrictions for months.

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