Wednesday 12th 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

  • 3 more cases have been confirmed in Stroud district in the past week – part of a total of 29 new cases confirmed in Gloucestershire.
  • 6,146 cases have been confirmed in the UK in the past week, bringing the total to 313,402 cases, an increase of 2.0%. This is a higher number and percentage than last week, and indeed any week since 1st July (6,479, 2.1%).
  • There were no deaths attributed to Covid-19 registered to either Stroud or Gloucestershire in the most recent week for which data is available (ending 31st July).
  • Over 20 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed globally (with 1.8 million confirmed during the week, Johns Hopkins University)
  • The Office for National Stastics have reported that “by the end of May, England had seen the highest overall relative excess mortality out of all the European countries compared.”

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud district

  • As of 9th August there have been 272 total confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud district. This number is three higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 7th August. 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.
  • Stroud district has a confirmed cases rate of 226.7 per 100,000 people. There are 315 “Lower Tier Local Authorities” of which Stroud District Council is one. Stroud district continues to have among the lowest rates (27th lowest / 289th highest for the last few weeks). In plain language: after adjusting for population, fewer people have been confirmed to have the virus in Stroud district 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). For comparison, the highest rate after Leicester (which we have covered in previous weeks) is Ashford (1,046.7 confirmed cases per 100,000 people) – over four times the rate in Stroud district.
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Stroud district by week. Data for week 32 ending the 7th August may still be revised, but while recent confirmed case numbers are higher than since the end of May, there is little sign of a trend of rising cases. However, Stroud district isn’t an island – please see the data below for Gloucestershire where there does appear to be evidence of a rising trend.
Source: Government coronavirus dashboard data download

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).

Confirmed cases in Gloucestershire

  • As of 9th August a total of 1,912 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 29 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week (more than double the 14 that were confirmed in the previous week), with the last case confirmed from a specimen submitted on the 8th August.
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 300.1 cases per 100,000 people. Gloucestershire still has among the lowest rates (23rd lowest / 127th highest last week). For comparison, the lowest rate is in North East Lincolnshire at 137.9, and the highest rate is in Leicester at 1,476.5. Neighbouring Wiltshire has an even lower rate than Gloucestershire: 265.4.
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. Data for week 32 ending the 7th August may still be revised, but it is beginning to look more like there is a trend of rising cases since week 25 (ending 19th June). While confirmed case numbers are still low week by week, the prospect of getting to “Covid Zero” in Gloucestershire – as in the rest of the country – feels distant given this apparent trend. Furthermore, Gloucestershire isn’t an island either – and cases confirmed elsewhere can introduce further cases in the county.
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

Estimate of local cases

Last week, Gloucestershire Live reported that the Covid Symptom Study was estimating “rate of 1,412 per 1,000,000 people. Meaning that 168 people are thought to have the virus”. The Covid Symptom Study now estimates a much lower number: 282 active cases per million people. As of the ONS latest population estimate (2018) there were 110,019 people living in Stroud district, by our calculations that means an estimate of just 34 people with the virus in Stroud district.

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. There is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and mobile units tour Gloucestershire – the nearest current site is the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) near Cirencester, available from 14-16th August. See the Gloucestershire County Council webpage for details of where and when mobile units are available.

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 31 – ending 31st July 2020. No-one has died with Covid-19 in the most recent 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 seven 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 – 4th August 2020) shows:

  • 2,138 people have died in the South West – 16 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 above for Stroud and Gloucestershire uses a different method, covering death certificates, as does the ONS data covered below 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: 95/100,000 in the North West)
  • 13,162 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the South West, 249 more than in the last report. This is higher than last week for the second week running after 6 weeks of declines. Bear in mind that the data only covers the period to 4th August.
  • This equates to an incidence rate of 239/100,000 – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is 643/100,000 in the North West).
  • A new surveillance report will be published on the gov.uk website soon (probably the 14th August).

National level data

While our focus is on the spread of the virus and deaths related to it, it is also important to note other impacts. The ONS report today that “The economy is in a technical recession after Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020 saw a record fall of 20.4%, following a significant shock since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; this follows a fall of 2.2% during Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020.”

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

  • “The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 31 July 2020 (Week 31) was 8,946; this was 55 more deaths than in Week 30.”
  • “In Week 31, the number of deaths registered was 1.0% below the five-year average (90 deaths fewer); this is the seventh consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.”
  • Of the deaths registered in Week 31, 193 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 19 weeks and a 11.1% decrease compared with Week 30 (217 deaths), accounting for 2.2% 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 31 July was 380,064 which is 52,895 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 31 July, 51,710 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 13.6% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • the number of deaths for England was 356,989, which is 51,288 (16.8%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 49,122 (13.8%) mentioned COVID-19.”
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

On the 7th August 871 cases were confirmed (last week, 771), and the 7-day rolling average was 859.9 (last week 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. While numbers of confirmed cases are affected by availability of testing, the Independent Sage noted this week that an increase in testing cannot alone account for the increase in total confirmed cases.

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 ONS incidence: 3,700 daily new cases per day (27th July – 2nd August 2020, lower than 4,200 last time).
  • The ONS prevalence: 28,300 people in England having COVID-19 (27 July – 2nd August2020), lower than last time.
  • The ONS say: “Modelling shows rates of people testing positive for COVID-19 have risen since the lowest recorded estimate, which was at the end of June, but there is evidence that this trend may be levelling off when compared with last week’s headline estimate.” The chart below shows the trend. It is also important to understand that the methodology has limitations because it is based on a sample of the population and modelling. Read more about the ONS methdology.

The COVID app figures:

  • COVID Symptom Study app incidence: 1,626 daily new cases (lower than last week’s 2,110)
  • COVID Symptom Study app prevalence: 24,720 symptomatic COVID (slightly lower than last week’s 27,654). 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. Last week we noted a very slight decline, this week that seems clearer and the recent slight increase has not turned into anything more concerning. In short: numbers are broadly static – there is still little sign of reaching “Zero Covid” in the UK.
Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

You will notice that the two different methods are closer to each other this week – 1,600-3,700 new daily cases, and 25,000-28,000 symptomatic cases. 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 78 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in England on the 7th August, together with 53 for Wales – making 131 for the UK as a whole. That is up from 104 a week earlier (31st July – 50 for England and 54 for Wales). By contrast, at the peak – on the 12th April – a total of 19,872 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital. While the trend has been very clearly downward – it appears now to be static, and the possibility of imagining a day or several days without hospital admissions, which we mentioned last week appears to be fading.

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare


As of the 10th August, there were 647 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the UK (either all in England, or with data from Wales – where there were 96 patients on the 7th August, and Scotland where there were 262) yet to be added). 60 of these patients are in mechanical ventilation beds – and we can send our hopes that these people will recover. The number in England is down from 767 a week previously on 3rd August, though we do not know to what extent this is because people have died, or because they have recovered and been discharged.

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“, however, the following day, the “Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospitals, has now confirmed there are in fact some coronavirus patients being treated. A spokeswoman described it as a ‘changing situation’, saying “although there were no patients, this is now not the case… The representative for the Trust added that numbers remain low in Gloucestershire hospitals. She declined to say how many patients with coronavirus are currently being treated in hospitals in our area.””.

We also understand there may still be Covid-19 patients being treated in some of the district hospitals in the county (run by a different NHS Trust), potentially including Stroud hospital.

International data

It is important to say that different countries are testing and collecting data on deaths in different ways, making fair comparisons difficult.

However, last week, the Office for National Statistics published their “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“. As they say, “There has been considerable interest in international comparisons of mortality during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The best way of comparing the mortality impact internationally is by looking at all-cause mortality rates by local area, region and country compared with the five-year average. All-cause mortality avoids the problem of different countries recording COVID-19 deaths in different ways, and also takes into account the indirect impact of the pandemic, such as deaths from other causes that might be related to delayed access to healthcare… This article presents provisional analysis of European all-cause mortality patterns during the first half of 2020. Weekly deaths data are examined for 29 European countries where official data were available by 10 July 2020, and compares measures from week ending 3 January (Week 1) to week ending 12 June (Week 24) of 2020.”

The chart below is taken from the ONS webpage, and shows that “By Week 22 (week ending 29 May), England had the highest relative cumulative age-standardised mortality rate in Europe“.

Key points from the ONS international comparison:

  • “by the end of May, England had seen the highest overall relative excess mortality out of all the European countries compared.”
  • “Of the four nations of the UK, England had the highest peak excess mortality (107.6% in week ending 17 April).”
  • “England saw the second highest national peak of excess mortality during Weeks 8 to 24 (week ending 21 February to week ending 12 June), compared with 21 European countries, with only Spain seeing a higher peak; at the equivalent of local authority level, areas of Central Spain and Northern Italy saw the highest peaks of excess mortality and exceeded any parts of the UK.”
  • “While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole.”
  • “Looking at major cities, the highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid at 432.7% (week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city at 249.7% (week ending 17 April).”

We also recommend the Financial Times‘ 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, though this has not come this 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.

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

The Financial Times also provides an interactive chart that can show the “Cumulative deaths (per million), by number of days since 3 total deaths (per million) first recorded”. This shows the UK with the highest number after Belgium, but with deaths still rising in Peru, Brazil and the United States these countries will potentially achieve even worse rates. In the UK there have been 696.5 deaths per million people attributed to Covid-19, compared to 864.1 in Belgium, 665.1 in Peru, 485.8 in Brazil, and 471.2 in the United States. Other countries have far lower rates, despite the virus having been present for a similar time – such as Germany (111 deaths per million), Cuba (7.8), South Korea (5.9), and New Zealand (4.5).

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows the number of people who have died is approaching three-quarters of a million – 741,723

40,407 people died in the past week (around 10,000 fewer than last week, but still around 10,000 more than the number who died in the previous week).

There are fourteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (South Africa and Chile have now crossed this threshold):

  • The USA – over 160,000 people haved died – 164,537 (7,698 people died in the past week, a 4.9% 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 – over 100,000 people have died – 101,752 (5,933, 6.2% – the lowest number of people to die in a week since we started recording weekly numbers for the country on 2nd June)
  • Mexico – 53,929 (5,060, 10.4% – the highest number for six weeks)
  • The UK – 46,611 (316 people added to the total in the past week, a 0.7% increase, very similar to last week)
  • India – 46,091 (6,326 – 15.9% – a higher number of people than last week)
  • Italy – 35,215 (44, 0.1% – a new weekly low, after 48 people were recorded to have died with Covid-19 last week)
  • France – 30,328 (31, 0.1% – lower than last week, and the lowest number we have recorded in a week for the country)
  • Spain – 28,581 (83 – 0.3% – the highest number of people to die in a week for six weeks)
  • Peru – 21,502 (1,494, 7.5%, higher than last week)
  • Iran – 18,800 (998 – 5.6% – a decline for the second week)
  • Russia – 15,231 (766, 5.3% – lower than last week)
  • Colombia – 13,475 (2,160, a 19.1% increase in a week, but a lower number of deaths than last week).
  • South Africa – 10,751 (1,867, a 21% increase in a week)
  • Chile – 10,178 (433, 4.4%)

Confirmed Cases

Confirmation of cases is one way to measure the spread of the virus. It is worth bearing in mind that not everyone who has the virus, particularly if they do not develop senses, will get a test – so confirmed numbers are an underestimate of total cases. However, changes in confirmed case numbers can give us an indication of whether the virus is still spreading or is coming under control in a country. Our analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows:

  • Over 20 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (20,306,856)
  • That’s an an increase of nearly 1.8 million cases during the week (1,762,036, the seventh week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed. The total number of cases confirmed in a week has fallen slightly for two weeks running.
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 9.5% in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, another sign that global confirmation of cases may be peaking).
  • 20 countries have over 200,000 cases (the same number as last week), and three have over 2 million confirmed cases. Below we cover details for countries with over 300,000 cases – as this now includes 12 countriesThe USA has confirmed over 5 million cases – 5,141,208 cases, a weekly increase of 369,689 (7.7% – a lower increase than the previous week for the third week running, the lowest increase since the 8th July)
  • Brazil has confirmed over 3 million cases – 3,057,470 cases, a weekly increase of 255,558 (9.1% – a lower number and percentage for the second week running)
  • India has confirmed over 2 million cases – 2,329,638 – a weekly increase of 421,384 (22.1% – a higher number but lower percentage increase than last week)
  • Russia – 900,745, a weekly increase of 40,983 (4.8% – a higher number of confirmed cases than the previous two weeks)
  • South Africa – 566,109, a weekly increase of 44,791 (8.6% – lower than last week and a new lowest increase since 8th July when we started compiling weekly data for the country)
  • Mexico – 492,522, increase of 42,561 (9.5% – the first fall in weekly confirmed case numbers since we have been covering data, and the lowest weekly increase since 8th July)
  • Peru – 489,680, increase of 49,790 (11.3% – higher than last week)
  • Colombia – 410,453, increase of 75,474 (22.5% – higher confirmed cases than last week, and the highest rate of increase for any country)
  • Chile – 376,616, increase of 13,654 (3.8% – very similar to last week after several weeks of declining numbers)
  • Iran – 331,189 cases – a weekly increase of 16,403 (5.2% –higher than last week)
  • Spain – 326,612, increase of 23,798 (7.9%). This is a slight increase on last week. Confirmed cases have been increasing for 9 weeks 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)
  • The UK – 313,402 cases, increase of 6,146 (2.0%). This is a higher number and percentage than last week, and indeed any week since 1st July (6,479, 2.1%). Confirmations of cases have risen for three consecutive weeks. There has not yet been a week with fewer than 4,000 cases since the peak.
  • 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.

Our condolences

We hope these weekly summaries help people to understand and take the pandemic serious, and that ultimately this can reduce the number of people affected. Unforuntately, presenting the information in this way does not allow us to focus on the lives of the individuals who have died, or the effects on their loved ones – to whom we send our condolences and best wishes.

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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