Wednesday 5th August data update

Each week we share a summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. We hope it is useful, please ask questions, or make suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, in our Facebook group.

Key points

  • As of 5th August there have been 269 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is five higher than we reported last week. The date of specimen for the last confirmed case was 31st July.
  • As of 5th August a total of 1,883 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 14 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week, with the last case confirmed from a specimen submitted on the 31st July.
  • Estimates by the Covid Symptom Study suggest there may be around 562 people in Gloucestershire – 168 of whom in Stroud district – who might currently have symptoms. These numbers should not a cause for alarm but – as nationally, there is still community transmission locally, so please follow the guidelines to help stop the spread and reduce the chances of passing the virus to those of us most at risk. Please book a test if you have symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste), this will help improve understanding and prevent the spread.
  • One more person has died in Gloucestershire – bringing the total to 579.
  • Across the UK, 332 people died in the past week.
  • As of 8am Tuesday 4th August, there are no coronavirus patients being treated at Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General. This reflects a national trend where there are now 1,117 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the UK, down from 1,273 a week ago. [Apologies for an error in our previous reporting of these numbers where we mistakenly reported the much lower daily numbers of patients admitted rather than the number of patients in hospital – see full details below. Thanks to Mark Anthony Mustoe for prompting the correction]
  • Over 18.5 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, with over 1 million cases being confirmed for the sixth week in a row.
  • Globally, over 700,000 people have now died with their deaths attributed to Covid-19.

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud and Gloucestershire

  • As of 5th August a total of 1,883 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 14 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week, with the last case confirmed from a specimen submitted on the 31st July (this data and that below is based on analysis of spreadsheet data downloaded from the government’s coronavirus data dashboard. The dashboard provides the totals and current rates, but the local daily/weekly confirmed numbers are contained in a spreadsheet which you can download).
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 295 cases per 100,000 people. Gloucestershire still has among the lowest rates (23rd lowest / 127th highest last week). In plain language: after adjusting for population, fewer people have been confirmed to have the virus in Gloucestershire than in most parts of the country. It is important to note that “confirmed” cases may not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus – but nonetheless, the difference between authorities is more likely to be because of different prevalence of the virus than differences in testing (given access to testing is largely similar around England).
  • As of 5th August there have been 269 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is five higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 31st July.
  • Stroud has a confirmed cases rate of 224 per 100,000 people. There are 315 “Lower Tier Local Authorities” of which Stroud District Council is one. We are no longer able to ascertain a ranking as the government has changed the spreadsheet/display system, but we believe Stroud will still have among the lowest rates (27th lowest / 289th highest for the last few weeks). For comparison, the highest rate recently has been is in Leicester (1,435 confirmed cases per 100,000 people – some “Unitary authorities” are on both Lower and Upper Tier lists).
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. We are currently half-way through week 31 (in which 13 cases have been confirmed), Confirmed case numbers have been broadly static for 7 weeks (since week 24, the 12th June), though the data for week 30 (20 confirmed cases) is higher than since week 23. Nonetheless these numbers continue to be low, and there is little sign of a rise – particularly given increased testing in recent weeks. The local confirmed cases trend becoming static reflects national confirmed cases data, and – though it is lower – the trend for estimates of symptomatic cases nationally too.
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

Estimates of local cases

Earlier this week, Gloucestershire Live reported that the Covid Symptom Study was estimating “that there are 28,976 people in Britain infected with the virus, with 562 in our county.” The article went on to say that the July 20th estimate was for just “352 active cases of Coronavirus in the county.”

The article also explained: “The map shows the estimated number of infected people in each of Gloucestershire’s six districts per 1,000,000 people. Using population estimates from the Office of National Statistics allows an estimate of the number of people with the virus in our county. Stroud is thought to have the highest number of active infections, with a rate of 1,412 per 1,000,000 people. Meaning that 168 people are thought to have the virus”. You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website. It is worth emphasising that these are estimates, and the true figure could be higher or lower. We encourage anyone with symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste) to please book a test. The Covid-19 mobile testing unit will be at Stratford Park on 6 and 7 August, and there’s also a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester.

If you don’t have symptoms, please still follow the guidelines to wear masks when appropriate (they will help prevent spread of the virus if you have it but don’t have symptoms yet, or are asymptomatic – meaning you have the virus but without ever getting any symptoms), keep distance from people, and wash your hands regularly

People who have died because of Covid-19 in Stroud and Gloucestershire

  • There have been at least 579 deaths where coronavirus was mentioned in Gloucestershire since the pandemic began, in all settings (hospitals, care homes, private homes and other sites), as of ONS data to week 30 – ending 24th July 2020. One person has been added to this total since last week.
  • The same data shows 92 people have died from or with Covid-19 in Stroud district. This figure has not increased since week 24 when two people from the district died. This means there have been six consecutive weeks where no one has died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certifcate in Stroud district (data is from ONS data on Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and place of death)
  • Last week we analysed the data for Stroud district on where people from the district who died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate in March, April, May and June were from. You can explore the interactive map of England and Wales – which of course covers the whole of Gloucestershire.
  • Prompted by a question from Mary Moore, below we provide the numbers by place of death in Stroud and Gloucestershire:
  • In Stroud, 30 of the 92 people who died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate died in a care home (32.6). 55 people from Stroud died in hospital (59.8%). 5 people (5.4%) died at home, and 2 people died in a hospice (2.2%).
  • In Gloucestershire, 271 of the 579 people to have died so far died in care homes (47.2%) while 264 people who died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate (45.8%).
Bar charts detailing the number and proportion of people to die in different places for Stroud and Gloucestershire - as described.
Source: ONS filtered dataset

The PHE weekly surveillance report (30th January – 28th July 2020) shows:

  • 2,122 people have died in the South West – 18 people have died since the previous report (the same as last week and the lowest weekly number for some weeks). This remains the lowest total number of people to died with the virus of any region in England. Importantly, the number here is “the total number of people who have died in England [or in this case, the South West] and had tested positive for COVID-19 since 30th January”. There are queries about this methodology – which suggests no-one can recover from Covid-19 (Centre for Evidence Based Medicine) and die of another cause – and people who died from Covid-19 but without a test are not included. However, this only affects the PHE data – the ONS data covered below uses a different method, covering death certificates – reporting “excess deaths” above average, and cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.
  • This equates to a death rate of 38/100,000 people – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is nearly three times higher: 94/100,000 in the North West)
  • 13,162 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the South West, 184 more than in the last report. This is higher than last week for the first time in 6 weeks. Bear in mind though that the data only covers the period to 28th July.
  • This equates to an incidence rate of 235/100,000 – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is 624/100,000 in the North West).
  • A new surveillance report will be published on the gov.uk website soon (probably the 7th August).

National level data

Alongside our analysis below, we recommend this BBC News article “Coronavirus: Is the UK in a better position than we think?” by Health Correspondent Nick Triggle (thanks to Melissa Briggs for alerting us to this), and the Independent SAGE’s recent weekly video (from July 31st), where members of the group explore testing data, talk about their “Zero Covid” strategy, and answer questions.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics on deaths:

  • “The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 24 July 2020 (Week 30) was 8,891; this was 68 more deaths than in Week 29.”
  • “In Week 30, the number of deaths registered was 1.8% below the five-year average (161 deaths fewer); this is the sixth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.”
  • “Of the deaths registered in Week 30, 217 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 18 weeks and a 26.4% decrease compared with Week 29 (295 deaths), accounting for 2.4% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • “Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 24 July was 371,120, which is 52,987 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 24 July 2020, 51,505 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 13.9% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • “the number of deaths for England was 348,587, which is 51,322 (17.3%) more than the five-year average.”
Source: ONS

You can read the full article and access the full data on which the article is based on the ONS website.

Cases – confirmed and estimated

Thanks to Rachel Sleigh of the Berkeley and Surrounding Area Covid-19 Community Support group, we have a new source to direct you to regarding case numbers: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases. On the 1st August 771 cases were confirmed, and the 7-day rolling average was 801.7. As you can see, this represents a slight rise since 5th July when 352 cases were confirmed and the rolling average reached a low-point of 546.1. However, it is important to bear in mind that numbers of confirmed cases are affected by availability of testing – with recent numbers particularly affected by higher rates of transmission in particular areas, rather than necessarily across the whole country. You can see where cases are being confirmed by neighbourhood (MSOA – an ONS geographic unit that covers areas of Stroud district like Stroud Town, Stonehouse, Nailsworth etc).

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/cases

Prevalence and Incidence – ONS and COVID Symptom Study app

Prevalence is the total number of estimated cases at any given time, whereas incidence is the estimated number of daily new cases.

Incidence estimates are higher than the the government’s number of “lab confirmed cases” because they are designed to estimate cases that have not been confirmed through testing

The COVID app figures:

  • COVID Symptom Study app incidence: 2,110 daily new cases (slightly higher than last week)
  • COVID Symptom Study app prevalence: 27,654 symptomatic COVID (slightly lower than last week). As the chart below shows, while this number declined rapidly from around 90,000 symptomatic cases on 11th June, it has been broadly static at around 25-30,000 symptomatic cases for every day in July. However, while last week we suggested it was rising slowly if showing any directional trend, this no longer appear to be the case – with a very slight decline since. In short: numbers are static – this is obviously better than a rise, but worse than the decline we would hope to see at this point.
Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

You will notice that the two different methods are diverging this week – 2,110-4,200 new daily cases, and 28,000-38,000 symptomatic cases. However, both are within the ‘confidence interval’ for each other’s estimates (in other words, when the estimate is made, there is a window given alongside the specific estimate for where the true number might plausibly be. These windows are quite large for these estimates because the number of postive tests is quite low). Read about the difference in methodology that leads to these different estimates on the COVID Symptom Study page, “What do all the different COVID figures mean and how do they compare?” – or follow the links above for further details on each estimate.

Hospital admissions and Covid-19 patients in hospital

Thanks to Rachel Sleigh of the Berkeley and Surrounding Area Covid-19 Community Support group, we have a new and better source on hospital admissions and patients in hospital: the governments coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare dashboard, from which the below screenshots are taken.

The latest data shows 74 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in England on the 2nd August, together with 35 for Wales – making 109 for the UK as a whole [note: we originally reported these numbers incorrectly as 17 admissions in England making 52 in the UK, and have edited them. Thanks to Mark Anthony Mustoe for highlighting this error]. That is down from 127 a week earlier (26th July – 45 for Wales and 82 for England). By contrast, at the peak – on the 12th April – a total of 19,872 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital. As you can see in the graph, the trend continues to be very clearly downward – and during the next week (or two) it is possible to imagine a day or several days without hospital admissions, which is obviously really good news and a sign that the virus is not reaching many of those of us who are most at risk.

Chart showing number of patients admitted to hospital by nation of the UK, dominated by England but falling dramatically since mid-April.
Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare

On Tuesday 4th August, BBC Gloucestershire reported that “As of 8am this morning, there are no coronavirus patients being treated at Gloucestershire Royal or Cheltenham General” (though we understand there may still be Covid-19 patients being treated in some of the district hospitals in the county, potentially including Stroud hospital).
This reflects a national trend where, as of the 4th August, there were 1,117 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the UK (737 in England, 270 Scotland, 110 Wales). 77 of these patients are in mechanical ventilation beds – and we can send our hopes that these people will recover.

Again the trend is clearly downward from 1,273 a week ago (868 in England, 264 in Scotland, 136 in Wales and 5 in Northern Ireland.

[Note: we reported these figures incorrectly originally, saying that “as of the 2nd August, there were 80 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the UK (68 in England, 9 in Wales, and 3 in Scotland)… Again, the trend is clearly downward from 90 a week ago (81 in England, 7 in Wales, 1 in Scotland).” The trend is similar, but the scale is much higher than I implied, there are still a significant number of people in UK hospitals – and send apoloies for underplaying this – believing the mistake to be in reading from the wrong chart, and using numbers for patients admitted on each day rather than in hospital. Thanks to Mark Anthony Mustoe for highlighting this error.]

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare

At the global level

Out analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows:

  • Over 18.5 million confirmed cases (18,544,820) – an increase of nearly 1.8 million cases during the week (1,782,215, the sixth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed. While the total number of cases confirmed each week has been rising, the number this week is very similar to last week – we might hope that represents a plateau or peak).
  • 10.6% of global confirmed cases were confirmed in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, another sign that globally confirmation of cases may be peaking).
  • Over 700,000 people have now died – 701,316
  • 53,929 people died in the past week (around 20,000 more than the number who died in the previous week). In other words, 8.3% of people who died with the virus, died in the last week. This is the highest weekly total since the 2nd June, and reflects high numbers of deaths in countries where the virus is still spreading (see below).
  • 20 countries have over 200,000 cases (Argentina joins the list), and three have over 1 million confirmed cases. Below we cover details for countries with over 300,000 cases – as this now includes 12 countries
    • The USA is approaching 5 million confirmed cases – 4,771,519 cases, a weekly increase of 419,215 (9.6% – a lower increase than last week)
    • Brazil – 2,801,912 cases, a weekly increase of 318,721 (12.8% – a lower number and percentage than last week, but still higher than the week before that)
    • India – 1,908,254 – a weekly increase of 376,585 (24.6% – a higher number but lower percentage increase than last week)
    • Russia – 859,762, a weekly increase of 32,307 (3.9% – the lowest weekly increase we have reported since 2nd June when we started compiling weekly data for the country)
    • South Africa – 521,318, a weekly increase of 61,557 (13.4% – the lowest increase since 8th July when we started compiling weekly data for the country)
    • Mexico – 449,961, increase of 47,264 (11.7% – while weekly confirmed case numbers are still rising slightly, Mexico appears to be approaching a peak/plateau)
    • Peru – 439,890, increase of 44,885 (11.4% – higher than last week)
    • Chile – 362,962, increase of 13,162 (3.8% – lower than last week, making four weeks of declining weekly numbers)
    • Colombia – 334,979, increase of 67,594 (25.3% – higher confirmed cases than last week, with confirmed cases more than doubling since 15th July)
    • Iran – 314,786 cases – a weekly increase of 15,877 (7.2% –higher than last week)
    • The UK – 307,256 cases, increase of 4,961 (1.6%). This is a very similar number and percentage to last week (4,906, 1.6%). There is a broadly static rather than downward trend. There has not yet been a week with fewer than 4,000 cases since the peak.
    • Spain – 302,814, increase of 22,204 (7.9%). This is a considerable increase for the fourth week in a row – just 2,034 cases were confirmed in the week ending 9th June (a lower number than the UK has achieved for any week since peak). Confirmed cases have been increasing for 8 weeks in a row.
    • The remaining countries with over 200,000 cases are Saudi Arabia (281,456), Pakistan (281,136), Italy (248,419), Bangladesh (244,020), Turkey (234,934), France (228,576), Argentina (213,535), and Germany (213,090). Only in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh are weekly confirmed case numbers falling, though these are also the countries where – other than Argentina – weekly confirmed case numbers are highest.
  • There are twelve countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (Colombia is added to the list this week):
    • The USA – over 150,000 people haved died – 156,839 (7,579 people died in the past week, a 5.1% increase. This is a higher number and similar rate of increase to last week. There is little sign the virus is under control in the USA)
    • Brazil – 95,819 (7,280, 8.2% – higher than last week but lower than the week before. The number of people dying each week has been roughly the same for five weeks running)
    • Mexico – 48,869 (3,993, 11.1% – the highest number for four weeks)
    • The UK – 46,295 (332 people died in the past week, a 0.7% increase, lower than last week)
    • India – 39,765 (5,572 – 16.3% – a higher number of people than last week, but a lower rate of increase)
    • Italy – 35,171 (48, 0.1% – similar to last week)
    • France – 30,297 (71, 0.2% – slightly higher than last week)
    • Spain – 28,498 (62 – 0.2% – the highest number of people to die in a week for five weeks)
    • Peru – 20,007 (1,395, 7.5%)
    • Iran – 17,802 (1,459 – 8.9% – a decline after three weeks of increases)
    • Russia – 14,465 (823, 6.0% – lower than last week)
    • Colombia – 11,315 (2,241, a 24.7% increase in a week).

It is important to say that different countries are testing and collecting data on deaths in different ways, making fair comparisons difficult. However, the Financial Times provides a useful visual narrative of the spread of Covid-19”, with charts showing comparisons between 20 countries on the best available testing measure – “excess deaths”, as well as global regional comparisons.

As of the FT’s data (13th July – we are hoping for an update next week), the “UK has one of the highest excess death rates among countries producing comparable data”. The UK has the second highest total number of excess deaths, the fourth highest rate of excess deaths per million people, and the fifth highest total excess deaths relative to the historical average. The FT say “Adjusting for population size, the hardest hit countries are Peru and Ecuador, each of which have seen more than 1,000 excess deaths per million inhabitants. The two Latin American countries have the highest excess percentage — excess deaths expressed as a share of normal deaths for the same period.”

Source: Financial Times. This chart has not been updated this week – we will replace it as soon as it is updated.

Our condolences

The point of these weekly summaries is to provide people with information on the pandemic, in the hope this encourages people to take it seriously, but without stoking fear or panic. We are aware that presenting numbers can seem abstract and fail to convey the emotional impact of what we are talking about, namely the loss of loved ones and potentially life-long impacts on health. We send our condolences and best wishes to all affected, whether in the UK, with friends and family abroad, and indeed anywhere in the world.

Notes

We welcome your suggestions for inclusion of data in these summaries. Please submit posts to our Facebook group.

Please remember we have a (growing) list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website. The following numbers may be useful:

  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
  • Mind: 0300 123 3393
  • Age UK: 0800 169 6565
  • Childline: 0800 1111.
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