25th Sept data summary

Every week I, James Beecher (one member of the SCCR team), put together a summary of data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, are welcome in our Facebook group, or email: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com. While the sources referenced are authoritative, the analysis – at least at the local level – is my own. Though I have some research skills – I’m not a virologist, epidemiologist or public health expert.

This update contains national charts, some local data and estimates (positive test numbers for Stroud and Gloucestershire, and estimates for the districts in Gloucestershire), and international context.

Key points

  • The key news this week is obviously the introduction of new restrictions by the government. This follows national increase in cases, and a presentation by the government’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer in which they talked about numbers of infections currently doubling every seven days.
  • In September so far there have been 38 positive tests in Stroud district compared to 22 positive tests in August (9 in the most recent week)
  • In September so far there have been 193 positive tests in Gloucestershire compared to 137 positive tests in August (61 in the most recent week).
  • The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates (25th Septmeber) that 132 people [aged 20-69] may actively have the virus in Stroud district (considerably over double the 47 estimated for the 16th.
  • There has not been a death certificate which mentioned Covid-19 in Stroud since week 24 (12th June), when two people from the district’s deaths were registered. There has not been a death certificate which mentioned Covid-19 in Gloucestershire since week 35 (27th August – one person in Tewkesbury).
  • There were 35,570 positive tests in the UK 17th-23rd Sept, compared to 25,738 between 10th-16th September (my calculations based on JHU data).
  • 1,198 patients with Covid-19 were admitted to UK hospitals, compared to 1,179 in the previous week. However, the number admitted in England on 22nd September (268) was considerably more than double the 119 the previous week. The lowest daily number of patients admitted in England was 25 on the 22nd August, and the number has been broadly rising since.
  • 209 patients were in mechanical ventilation beds in England on the 24th September, compared to 115 a week previously, and 63 two weeks previously (slightly less than doubling each week).
  • 159 people in the UK died with 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the week to the 23rd Sept, compared to 121 in the week to 16th September, and 69 in the week to 9th September (my calculations based on the UK government dashboard)
  • “In Week 37 (to 11th September), the number of deaths registered was 5.4% above the five-year average (505 deaths higher). Of the deaths registered in Week 37, 99 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, accounting for 1.0% 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 11 September 2020 was 434,618, which is 53,376 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 11 September, 52,482 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 12.1% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • Globally, over 31 million cases have been identified, and Covid-19 has been attributed in the deaths of well over 900,000 people. More positively, over 21 million people have now been deemed to have recovered.

The core advice remains: please book a test if you have one or more symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste (or if you are asked to by contact tracers or others conducting tests). There is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and mobile units tour Gloucestershire. We are aware that lots of people have struggled to access tests/getting results – but also that local people have had good experiences accessing tests and getting results. Please persevere and get in touch if you need help. If you have symptoms (or if you are asked to by contact tracers), self-isolate until you have a negative test. If you are struggling with self-isolating, please get in touch with us or with one of the local support groups.

Whether or not you 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. Access the latest government guidance and FAQ on “what you can and can’t do” online (last updated 22nd September – to take account of new restrictions/advice). If there is a piece of guidance you have a question about, again – please ask in our Facebook group.

Local statistics

Gloucestershire County Council are now sharing a weekly data summary of their own.

Positive Tests

  • In the most recent week for which data is available (to the 18th September), specimens produced 9 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district. This number may be revised upwards slightly as some specimens submitted in that week may not have their results yet (last week’s number was revised up from 11 to 12).
  • Across Gloucestsershire, there were 61 positive tests that week. Last week’s number has also been revised up from 55 to 65.
Source: Government coronavirus dashboard data download
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

You can see where cases are being confirmed by neighbourhood. This week no part of Stroud district has had 3 or more positive tests – this is a good sign. Some areas in Gloucester, and the outskirts of Bristol and Swindon show up. Gloucestershire County Council’s weekly summary states that “Between 13th September–19th September 2020 five MSOAs in Gloucestershire had three or more cases (Bream, Pillowell & Yorkley = 3; Tredworth = 4; Quedgeley North = 4; Longlevens = 3; Kemble & South Cerney = 3)”

Overall – while people are testing positive locally, there do not seem to be rapidly spreading clusters. Hopefully this represents people following the guidance and making sure the virus is not passed on if they have symptoms (by self-isolating, getting a test, and engaging with contact tracing).

Source: ONS interactive map

Estimated number of people with the virus

Alongside positive tests, we can also look to estimates that can cover people who – for whatever reason – do not get tested. The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates (25th Septmeber) that 132 people [aged 20-69] may actively have the virus in Stroud district (considerably over double the 47 estimated for the 16th – though this is a recent increase, estimates were stable at around 46 on the 4th Sept).

The Study also estimates 258 active cases in South Gloucestershire (more than doubling from 106), 96 in Cheltenham (nearly doubling from 54), 111 active cases in nearby Gloucester (more than doubling from 38) and 65 in Cotswold ( doubling from 29, but the lowest level in the county), 98 Tewkesbury (more than doubling from 37) and 60 in the Forest of Dean (more than doubling from 25).

While the Covid Symptom Study app is an authoritative study, with over 4 million people contributing information about their daily health, estimates for local areas will have to be based on small smaples and are estimates – they are made to help us understand the situation, but are not definitive. They are particularly useful as a complement to positive test numbers – which we know do know cover all people with symptoms or who are infectious (but unable to get a test or do not realise they should get one). You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website.

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

More national info

Watch this week’s Independent SAGE presentation (25th September, 1hour – includes short presentation on the national data at the start)

Watch Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, and Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Officer, give a presentation about coronavirus in UK (21st September, 23 minutes):

The UK government coronanvirus dashboard summarises a number of datasources, and NHS Test and Trace data for England is also available. Check out the Independent SAGE weekly video summary too. The chart below shows positive test results in the UK – you can see how they are rapidly rising. The chart gives the impression they are now at similar numbers as in the first peak of the pandemic – but we know access to testing during that period was much more restricted (to hospital patients and – later – NHS and care staff). Cases were much higher than, and are still higher now, though by a smaller amount than positive tests reveal. See the section on prevalence estimates below.

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

Prevalence 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. Prevalence is the total number of estimated cases at any given time (incidence is the estimated number of daily new cases – you can also find information about this at the links if you wish).

Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

International

I am reducing the amount of international analysis at the moment as I do not have time I am afraid – as a team we will think about what is most useful to share with members – please let us know if there are particular international aspects you are interested in.

My calculations from the Johns Hopkins University tracker show:

  • 973,443 people have died with their death at least partly attributed to Covid-19, as of the 23rd September
  • 37,852 of these people died in the past week (very similar to the previous week).
  • There are sixteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (same as last week).
  • At least 21 million people have been deemed to have “recovered” after testing positive globally (21,798,488), an increase of over 1.7 million in the past week (1,703,707) – as reported by Johns Hopkins University. While there is considerable evidence of long-term impacts, many people who have not tested positive but have receovered are not included in this figure, and methods for recording “recoveries” vary by country.
  • The UK only reports 2,239 people have recovered, for instance – an increase of 55 on last week. However, this does not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus but recovered from it.
  • Over 31 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (31,735,542)
  • That’s an an increase of over 2 million cases during the week (2,136,722, the thirteenth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed, the second with over 2 million).
  • 24 countries have over 200,000 cases (Israel is added to the list this week), and four have over 1 million confirmed cases.

Notes

These updates are designed to improve understanding of the pandemic and its impacts, with the hope this can help us to reduce those impacts locally. I appreciate they do not involve space to properly convey the full impact of the virus nor the restrictions that are making life difficult for many people.

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

Please remember we have a list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website (and welcome further recommendations). 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.

19th Sept data update

Every week SCCR admin James Beecher puts together a summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, are welcome in our Facebook group, or email: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com. While the sources referenced are authoritative, the analysis is my own. Though I have some research skills – I’m not a virologist, epidemiologist or public health expert.

Key points

  • On Wednesday, when we have tended to publish these updates, the big news this week – was access to testing. While that’s still an issue, it has become clearer since that positive tests are rising quickly regardless of access to tests, with new restrictions likely to be announced by the government.
  • This data update looks at the local picture and presents some national context, but I’m an amateur enthusiast trying to help. I imagine in the coming days and weeks people there will be much more attention to data around the country again, so I will be thinking about how to make these local updates more useful.
  • I recommend the Gloucestershire County Council weekly summary for more on the local situation and the Independent SAGE weekly video (first 30 mins is a great couple of presentations on the national data and recommendations for next few weeks).
  • During the week to 14th Sept, 25,738 positive tests were reported across the UK, more than double the 11,517 the previous week (and plausibly still an underestimate due to the widespread issues accessing tests).
  • Despite issues around access to testing, recent testing data for both Stroud and Gloucestershire shows clear rises in the numbers of people testing positive. While numbers are still fairly low, it should be clear that infections can spread quickly – it continues to be important to follow the guidance to slow the spread of the virus (see below)
  • In the most recent week for which data is available (to 11th Sept), 55 people tested positive in Gloucestershire, 11 of them from Stroud. These figures may still be revised upwards as test results from specimens submitted that week are added. The figure for Gloucestershire for the previous week (to 4th September) has been revised from 40 to 52.
  • The positive test numbers for both Stroud and Gloucestershire are the highest they have been since the current testing regime has existed. While numbers of tests have been increasing through that period and a comparison with late May is not entirely fair, this is concerning. We do not have data on the number of tests or the positivity rate – but as such the cautious conclusion to draw is that the higher number of positive tests is associated with the virus being more prevalent locally.
  • Globally there have been nearly 30 million cases identified, and Covid-19 has been attributed in the deaths of well over 900,000 people. More positively, over 20 million people have now been deemed to have recovered.

While the situation continues to be confusing and hard to follow, and locally the risks appear to be lower: the virus is still circulating and risks will rise if people become complacent.

The core advice remains: please book a test if you have one or more symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste. There is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and mobile units tour Gloucestershire (the local team have communicated this week that people who have not booked will not be tested – even though they may have been in the past, capacity does not allow for this at the moment). If you have symptoms, self-isolate until you have a negative test.

Whether or not you 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. Access the latest government guidance and FAQ on “what you can and can’t do” online (last updated 14th September – to take account of new restrictions/advice).

Local statistics

I’m going to reduce the amount of local analysis I do as Gloucestershire County Council are now sharing a weekly data summary of their own.

Positive Tests

  • In the most recent week for which data is available (to the 11th September), specimens produced 11 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district. This number may be revised upwards slightly as some specimens submitted in that week may not have their results yet.
  • Across Gloucestsershire, there were 55 positive tests that week. A further 7 positive tests resulted from specimens submitted on the 12th September – but no positive tests have been received on specimens submitted since.
  • There were 137 positive tests across Gloucestershire in August, and have already been 103 positive tests less than two-weeks into data for September.
Source: Government coronavirus dashboard data download
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

You can see where cases are being confirmed by neighbourhood. This week Wotton-under-Edge is highlighted as having 5 cases confirmed in the week to 11th September. Some areas in Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol and Bath also show up. Interestingly, this is no longer the case for Swindon which has been on the government’s Watchlist.

Source: ONS interactive map

Estimated number of people with the virus

Alongside positive tests, we can also look to estimates that can cover people who – for whatever reason – do not get tested. The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates (16th September) that 47 people may actively have the virus in Stroud district (same as on the 9th and barely higher than 46 on the 4th Sept). The Study also estimates 106 active cases in South Gloucestershire (up from 44), 54 in Cheltenham (up from 44), 38 active cases in nearby Gloucester (down from 44) and 29 in Cotswold (down from 36), 37 Tewkesbury (down from 43) and 25 in the Forest of Dean (down from 27). Other than for South Gloucestershire, these estimates have all barely changed recently, and are consistent with the positive test numbers to the extent we would expect a higher number of symptomatic people than are identified in testing (if people cannot access tests, do not realise they might have Covid, or do not choose to have a test even in they suspect they have Covid). Further, they are made from small samples and it would be extremely difficult to be statistically accurate at this level.

You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website.

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

  • The Office for National Statistics collates data on instances where Covid-19 was mentioned on someone’s death certificate. These are broken down by local authority, place of death, and week: ONS data on Death registrations and occurrences by local authority and place of death
  • 92 of the 582 people to have died in Gloucestershire with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate were from Stroud district. This figure has not increased since week 24 (12th June), when two people from the district died. The chart below shows the distribution relative to deaths in the district from other causes. 9% of all people who have died from Stroud district this year have had Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate. In week 13, 31.6% of people who died had Covid-19 mentioned.
Source: ONS

National level data

As of 14th September there were 908 Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals, up slightly from 843 on the 7th September a week previously, but still lower than the 928 a month earlier. 172 patients confirmed to have Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England, compared to 84 on the 7th Septmeber and 52 on the 31st August. Hospital admissions are now clearly rising,

As of 15th September there were 101 patients on ventilation, compared to 80 on the 8th Sept. This is the first time the number has been above 100 since the end of July. The number has effectively doubled since the low of 52 on the 30th August.

More on testing and incidence estimates

The UK government coronanvirus dashboard summarises a number of datasources, and NHS Test and Trace data for England is also available. Check out the Independent SAGE weekly video summary too.

On 14th September the number of cases reported was 2,621 – compared to 2,948 a week earlier. While the daily number is lower, this seems likely to be partly about an erratic daily reporting – and largely about access to testing and test result delays. The 7-day average rose over the period from 2,532 to 3,286 [at time of writing 3,991 positive tests have been reported for 16th Sept].

During the week to 14th Sept, 25,738 positive tests were reported, more than double the 11,517 the previous week (and plausibly still an underestimate due to the widespread issues accessing tests).

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

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

Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

PHE surveillance report

Every week PHE publish a “surveillance report” on the pandemic. Some key points from the report below. The image below, from the report, shows Gloucestershire with 5-9.99 cases per 100,000 people, the second lowest rate. The nearest location with a rate over 45 per 100,000 people is Birmingham.

PHE now report regionally from 29th June (this week to 15th September), showsing:

  • 3,275 positive tests in the South West – incidence rate of 58/100,000
  • This is by far the lowest rate in the country: London 113/100,000, highest in the North West at 272/100,000 (19,869 positive tests during the period).

The PHE surveillance report shows a considerable increase in the positivity rate (proportion of tests that are positive – ie, aside from the number of tests being done, more people are testing positive). This is the case, dramatically, for tests in both hospitals (left hand chart – a), and of people in drive-through centres (right hand chart – b)

  • “Through the GP swabbing scheme, an increase in positivity was noted in week 37 at 7.6% compared to 1.4% in the previous week.”
  • “Case detections in England increased from 15,231 in week 36 to 15,693 in week 37 [7,955 in week 35]… Further increases in detections for week 37 are expected as more results for the most recent samples become available.”.
  • “Positivity rates have increased across most age groups particularly in the 85+ year olds tested through Pillar 2 and those in the 15-44 years in Pillar 1. Positivity by regions remains highest in the North.
  • “Case rates continued to be highest in the 20-29 year age group.”
  • “The overall number of acute respiratory infection incidents reported to PHE Health Protection Teams increased notably from 246 in the previous week to 729 in week 37. The highest increases were noted in the number of incidents in care homes, educational and workplace settings in comparison to the previous week. Around half of the incidents in educational settings were confirmed as COVID-19 outbreaks. There has also been an increase in rhinovirus activity in school aged children which may account for some of the acute respiratory infection incidents reported.”

Swindon has been removed from the Watchlist. The previous week’s report included the infographic below – showing cases and positivity rates in decline.

Source: PHE Watchlist (pdf) – which also includes a highly localised map for Swindon and the same charts and maps for other local authority areas included in the Watchlist.

Indeed, positive tests are lower in Gloucestershire and most of the South West than much of the country (5-10 per 100,000).

hotspots in North West, Birmingham. Also high in North East, London, Midlands
Source: PHE

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, there are reputable sources doing their best to make data available, which we summarise below.

The World Health Organisation provide a map of the countries where there is highest percentage increase in cases. The UK is among countries with an increase of over 10% in the seven days to 16th September. Norway, Portugal, Canada, Austria, Tunisia and others have had an increase of 50% or more in that period.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides subnational data across Europe, including the following map (data for weeks ending 4th/11th Sept).

The ourworldindata.org website provides lots of useful comparisons on a number of metrics, including testing, cases and deaths, through interactive charts you can control which countries are listed on, and whether data is raw or per population of a country- as well as tests per confirmed case.

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

The ONS’ latest data on death registrations says:

  • “In Week 35 [week ending 28 August 2020], the number of deaths registered was 9.6% above the five-year average (791 deaths higher); this is the third consecutive week that weekly deaths have been above the five-year average, however, the rise was not driven by the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
  • “Of the deaths registered in Week 35 [ending 28 August], 101 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 24 weeks and a 26.8% decrease compared with Week 34 (37 deaths), accounting for 1.1% 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 28 August 2020 was 417,063, which is 54,309 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 28 August, 52,282 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 12.5% of all deaths in England and Wales… the number of deaths for England was 391,577, which is 52,646 (15.5%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 49,642 (12.7%) mentioned COVID-19.”

A useful Financial Times interactive chart allows comparison of the “Seven-day rolling average of new deaths, by number of days since 3 average daily deaths first recorded“. This makes it possible to see whether the worst impacts of the virus have peaked in a country, and identify any “second waves”. In the chart below, we have picked out the UK – where the 7-day average number of daily deaths has begun to rise – following a trend a little like Fraance where deaths are clearly rising fast. France appears to be following or perhaps exceeding the rise in Spain. The chart also shows Israel – where the “second wave” of deaths has been higher and longer than the first – and Iran – where the “first wave” never declined to low numbers, and where a “second bump” than appeared to be declining is rising before falling below the daily rates at the peak of the “first wave”. While these “waves” may reflect geographic distributions (as is clearly the case across the USA, with different States experiencing peaks at different times contributing to the particular pattern in the US), there also appears to be plenty of risk of large numbers of deaths in “second waves” from nearby countries that are not that dissimilar to the UK (Spain and France).

Source: Financial Times

(note that the left-hand scale representing numbers of deaths is “logarithmic” – to make it easier to compare very large numbers with much smaller ones on the same chart).

For interanational comparisons we also recommend the Office for National Statistics “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“, and 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” (which avoids any issues with attribution to Covid-19 and instead explore the impact of both the pandemic and lockdown measures on the number of people dying), as well as global regional comparisons to the 13th July. Sadly this no longer seems to be being updated. We will include a chart again when there is an update.

Another Financial Times’ interactive chart can also show the “Cumulative deaths (per million), by number of days since 3 total deaths (per million) first recorded”. This shows the UK with the 3rd highest number (622.1) after Peru (922) and Belgium (862.8) – with the number of people dying in Chile (614.8), Brazil (601.6) and the United States (550.9) still increasing quickly. Other countries have far lower rates, despite the virus having been present for a similar time – such as Germany (112.2 deaths per million), Cuba (9), South Korea (6.6), and New Zealand (4.9).

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows

As of the 14th September, he number of people who have died was 935,591.

37,906 people died in the past week with their death at least partly attributed to Covid-19 (lower than the previous week).

There are sixteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (same as last week). Rather than report the figures for each of these as we have been doing in previous weeks, we will from now on produce a summary:

  • The number of deaths this week is higher than last week in seven of the twelve countries where over 10,000 people had died by last week (US: 6,262/4,991, Brazil: 5,655/4,868, India: 8,176/7,557, France: 237/104, Peru: 951/908, Iran: 911: 870, Russia :914/574).

Recoveries

At least 20 million people have been deemed to have “recovered” after testing positive globally (20,094,781), an increase of over 1.5 million in the past week (1,553,648) – as reported by Johns Hopkins University. While there is considerable evidence of long-term impacts, many people who have not tested positive but have receovered are not included in this figure, and methods for recording “recoveries” vary by country.

The UK only reports 2,184 people have recovered, for instance – an increase of 357 on last week. However, this does not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus but recovered from it.

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 instances of the virus. Further, access to testing changes and this will affected confirmation. The number of people dying is arguably a more useful way to compare the impact of the virus across different countries (though methods vary there too). Nonetheless, 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 29 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (29,598,820)
  • That’s an an increase of over 2 million cases during the week (2,013,724, the twelth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed, the first with over 2 million).
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 7.3% in the past week (this percentage increase has been falling slowly, but rose from 7%).
  • 23 countries have over 200,000 cases, and four have over 1 million confirmed cases (India passed 5 million cases this week – with 650,231 positive tests in the week).
  • Confirmed cases this week are higher than the number last week in 15 of the 23 countries (USA, India, Brazil, Russia, Peru Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, France, the UK, Pakistan, Phillipines, Germany, and Indonesia)
  • Spain confirmed a total of 68,654 cases, a 12.8% increase
  • France confirmed 60,187 cases, a 16.1% increase.

My condolences

I hope that this update helps contribute to understanding, and leads people to take care to reduce the potential impact of the virus. My best wishes and condolences to all those affected.

Notes

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

Please remember we have a list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website (and welcome further recommendations). 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.

9th September data update

Every week SCCR admin James Beecher puts together a summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. Questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, are welcome in our Facebook group, or email: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com. While the sources referenced are authoritative, the analysis is my own, and though I have some research skills – I’m not a virologist, epidemiologist or public health expert.

Key points

  • The big news this week – which is receiving a lot of national media coverage – is that the number of positive tests is rising, with one member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – Professor John Edmunds – saying that cases are “increasing exponentially”. While there is some justification for this, I think it’s worth trying to put this in context, both in terms of important caveats nationally, and an arguably different picture locally.
  • Across the UK, 2,563 positive tests resulted from specimens submitted on the 4th September, more than double the 1,176 positive tests associated with the 29th August. The 7-day average was 2,238.3 compared to 1,376.9 a week previously on the 28th August. The daily number of positive tests has generally been increasing since 4th July when it hit a low of 402. There is no getting around the fact that “this is broadly not a good development; no sugar coating – noone wants to see case numbers grow like this” (as Ewan Birney, Deputy Director General of the European Bioinformatics Institute put it at the start of a useful thread which I’ll draw on below)
  • Weekly positive tests in the UK (11,517) were the highest since the week-ending 2nd June (29,270). Last week’s update explained that the number of new positive tests cannot be explained only by new tests, though this might explain around half of the recent increase. However, as Birney points out, “the testing regime changed substantially in UK” in mid-May, as testing was opened up to anyone over 5 with symptoms, rather than only essential workers or even only people at point of hospitalisation previously. As Birney says, “the same level of reported cases as April XX” – even though true, it implies an equivalency which is not present“. I’ve colour coded the positive tests by week charts to try to make this clearer.
  • Last week’s update explained that the number of new positive tests cannot be explained only by new tests, though this might explain around half of the recent increase.
  • In one example of a careful and considered response to the latest data, this piece in the British Medical Journal argued that “Experts are increasingly concerned that these headline figures don’t provide a clear picture of what’s really happening in the pandemic—or how we should respond, such as with local lockdowns.”
  • While the government continues to recommend people get tested only if they are symptomatic or are asked to be tested, an increasing number of asymptomatic people are being identified through – for example – regular testing of care home staff. This testing is useful, as Allyson Pollock, co-director of the Newcastle University Centre for Excellence in Regulatory Science and an Independent SAGE committee member says “symptomatic and asymptomatic cases need to be separated out, to enable the government and local public health teams to understand what’s happening.”
  • Ultimately, what we are concerned about it avoiding serious illness and people dying. The ONS’s latest update notes that “Of the deaths registered by 28 August [in England and Wales], 52,282 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate”.
  • Hospital admissions may yet rise following positive tests by a lag, but the rise is much slower so far. – and there is no sign of a second rise of deaths involvcing Covid-19. Pollock says, “It’s very difficult to interpret what is going on because hospital admissions don’t seem to be rising, although we may still see a spike. Is it that we’re picking up cases in a different population—those who are healthier? Is the virus attenuating in some way? Or is there more background immunity?”
  • In a useful BBC article, Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford is quoted as saying “the virus is circulating at a much lower level. With social distancing people are more likely to get a ‘glancing blow’ and have to deal with a much smaller amount of virus and so be less likely to get seriously ill.”
  • Heneghan adds “It is a mistake for people to think this infection is over… The virus is still circulating and if we lose our vigilance, rates will go up. I think we need simple clear messages to the public which stress the importance of handwashing and social distancing.”
  • Locally, there were 40 positive tests across Gloucestershire in the most recent full week of data (specimens provided between the 29th August and 4th September) – the same as the previous week. In the same week specimens produced 7 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district – one higher than last week. The last positive test in Gloucestershire was from a specimen provided on 6th September, and the last in Stroud was on a specimen provided on the 4th September (more recent tests may not yet have been processed).
  • The local situation- not only in Stroud and Gloucestershire but across the South West – does not appear to be driving the national increases in positive tests, nor yet be influenced by them. Large numbers of positive tests are associated with places under local lockdowns where testing capacity is being concentrated (the BBC report that “over the past week to Sunday, a quarter of new cases were in the 20 local authority areas with the highest rates. They represent just 5% of total local authorities”). This is not a cause for complacency locally – as the virus can still be brought in from elsewhere, but hopefully it can reassure people that there is little reason to worry unecessarily or panic.
  • Globally, over 27 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, and nearly 900,000 people have died with their deaths attributed at least in part to Covid-19.

While the situation continues to be confusing and hard to follow, and locally the risks appear to be lower, to repeat Professor Heneghan’s point above: the virus is still circulating and risks will rise if people become complacent.

The core advice remains: please book a test if you have one or more symptoms – a new continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of smell/taste. There is a permanent unit at Hempsted Meadow in Gloucester, and mobile units tour Gloucestershire (the local team have communicated this week that people who have not booked will not be tested – even though they may have been in the past, capacity does not allow for this at the moment).

Whether or not you 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. Access the latest government guidance and FAQ on “what you can and can’t do” online (last updated 9th September – to take account of new restrictions/advice on “how to meet people safely”).

Local statistics

Positive Tests

  • In the most recent week for which data is available (to the 4th September), specimens produced 7 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district. This number may be revised upwards slightly as some specimens submitted in that week may not have their results yet. Regardless, the number is broadly in line with positive tests since the week ending 24th July – these are slightly higher than the numbers in June and the rest of July, but it does not look to be a rising trend.
  • Across Gloucestsershire, there were 40 positive tests that week, and there does seem to be a slowly rising trend. We can hope that instead this largely represents a higher proportion of instances being picked up in testing, and that this can help to contain any further spread (unfortunately there does not seem to be local available data on test numbers or positivity rates so it is hard to tell if the rise represents more testing or more infections).
  • Nationally, while there are considerably higher numbers of positive tests these are not linked to dramatically higher hospitalisations, and while equivalent local data is not available it still appears that people most at risk from the virus are being protected from contracting it.
  • Whether in Stroud or Gloucestershire (or even the UK) as a whole, that positive tests are still being conducted does show the virus is still circulating, so it is worth taking the basic precautions. This way, we can continue to reduce the numbers of people being hospitalised and dying, and hopefully enable further opening up of restrictions.
Source: Government coronavirus dashboard data download
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

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). Once again, the numbers in Stroud district are too low to show up on this map – though low numbers of positive tests in areas of Swindon, Bristol and Quedgeley are highlighted.

Note: we’ve heard lots of stories of people facing difficulties with tests in the past few days (with a couple of local examples receiving national attention), but while this may affect next week’s test numbers, the really significant problems seem to have emerged more recently – so shouldn’t have affected the numbers we are covering (any more so than the difficulties that have existed around testing for some time).

Estimated number of people with the virus

Alongside positive tests, we can also look to estimates that can cover people who – for whatever reason – do not get tested. The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates (9th September) that 47 people may actively have the virus in Stroud district (46 on the 4th). The Study also estimates 44 active cases in nearby Gloucester and South Gloucestershire, 36 in Cotswold district, 44 in Cheltenham, 43 in Tewkesbury and 27 in the Forest of Dean. These estimates have all barely changed recently, and are consistent with the positive test numbers to the extent we would expect a higher number of symptomatic people than are identified in testing (if people cannot access tests, do not realise they might have Covid, or do not choose to have a test even in they suspect they have Covid). Further, they are made from small samples and it would be extremely difficult to be statistically accurate at this level.

You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website.

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

National level data

As of 7th September there were 843 Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals, up slightly from 775 on the 29th August a week previously. 84 patients confirmed to have Covid-19 were admitted in England, compared to 52 on the 31st August. While numbers are higher, these are small rises – and from the lowest numbers of patients admitted/people in hospital that have been seen.

As of 8th September there were 80 patients on ventilation, compared to 82 on the 1st Sept. The number has been lower, but hasn’t been above 100 since the end of July.

More on testing and incidence estimates

The UK government coronanvirus dashboard summarises a number of datasources, and NHS Test and Trace data for England is also available. Check out the Independent SAGE weekly video summary too.

Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

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

Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

People who have died

  • PHE report 41,594 “deaths in laboratory-confirmed positive individuals where the death occurred within 28 days” (to the 8th September). By this measure 56 people died in the most recent week, very similar to the 57 who died in the week previously.
  • Of the 41,592 people, PHE say 36,931 died in England (a rate of 65.6 per 100,000 people, compared to 50.7 in Wales, 45.7 in Scotland, and 29.9 in Northern Ireland).
  • The ONS report that “Of the deaths registered in Week 35 [ending 28th August], 101 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 24 weeks and a 26.8% decrease compared with Week 34 (37 deaths), accounting for 1.1% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • ONS data shows “Of the deaths registered by 28 August, 52,282 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 12.5% of all deaths in England and Wales”. The PHE data is restricted to people who tested positive, while death certificates can include clinical judgement where a test didn’t take place – which was regularly the case early on in the UK when testing was restricted.
  • While the differing PHE and ONS methods produce different results, it remains the case that tens of thousands of people have died with their deaths attributed to Covid-19. As fuller analysis of data is possible, there may be further adjustments to the total figures, but these shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Covid-19 is not a serious and regularly fatal disease, or that there is any deliberate attempt to either underestimate or overestimate the number of deaths related to the virus.

PHE surveillance report

Every week PHE publish a “surveillance report” on the pandemic. As we published our data update late last week, the PHE report we summarised last week has not been updated since. You can read the summary in last week’s update.

For the South West as a whole, PHE report 13,969 confirmed cases (up 285 from last week), and an incidence rate of 249/100,000 people. This is the lowest rate for an English region, the highest rate is 690/100,000 in the North West.

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, there are reputable sources doing their best to make data available, which we summarise below.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides subnational data across Europe, including the following map (data for weeks ending 21st and 28th August).

hotspots across spain, in the south of France bordering Italy/Med and in parts of Romania, and generally mid-low in the UK (lowest in the South, and far north of Scotland)

The ourworldindata.org website provides lots of useful comparisons on a number of metrics, including testing, cases and deaths, through interactive charts you can control which countries are listed on, and whether data is raw or per population of a country- as well as tests per confirmed case.

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

A useful Financial Times interactive chart allows comparison of the “Seven-day rolling average of new deaths, by number of days since 3 average daily deaths first recorded“. This makes it possible to see whether the worst impacts of the virus have peaked in a country, and identify any “second waves”. In the chart below, we have picked out the UK – where the 7-day average number of daily deaths has been falling consistently for a long time, but has stabilised at a low level (broadly similar to France, where the 7-day average has possibly begun to rise again). The chart also shows the pattern in Spain – where a sharper decline in daily deaths is accompanied by a more recent uptick that looks like a “second wave” – though this is rising far more slowly than during the “first wave”.

This week, we’ve also highlighted India – where deaths continue to rise (but are still well below the relative rates per population in many other countries), Iran – where weekly deaths never fell to low levels but a second peak appears to be in decline, and Israel, where the “first wave” was much lower than for many other countries but the “second wave” has seen more people die than the first – though still not as bad in relative terms per population as in the European countries highlighted (note that the left-hand scale representing numbers of deaths is “logarithmic” – to make it easier to compare very large numbers with much smaller ones on the same chart).

Source: Financial Times

For interanational comparisons we also recommend the Office for National Statistics “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“, and 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” (which avoids any issues with attribution to Covid-19 and instead explore the impact of both the pandemic and lockdown measures on the number of people dying), as well as global regional comparisons to the 13th July. Sadly this no longer seems to be being updated. We will include a chart again when there is an update.

Another Financial Times’ interactive chart can also show the “Cumulative deaths (per million), by number of days since 3 total deaths (per million) first recorded”. This shows the UK with the 3rd highest number (622.1) after Peru (922) and Belgium (862.8) – with the number of people dying in Chile (614.8), Brazil (601.6) and the United States (550.9) still increasing quickly. Other countries have far lower rates, despite the virus having been present for a similar time – such as Germany (112.2 deaths per million), Cuba (9), South Korea (6.6), and New Zealand (4.9).

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows

As of the 2nd September, he number of people who have died is now nearly 900,000 – 897,685.

40,272 people died in the past week with their death at least partly attributed to Covid-19 (higher than last week).

There are sixteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (Ecaudor and Argentina have crossed this sad threshold). Rather than report the figures for each of these as we have been doing in previous weeks, we will from now on produce a summary:

  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is below 100 in 2 of these 14 countries: the UK (83 – for some reason the JHU figure is different to the PHE figure) and Italy (72).
  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is above 1,000 in 6 of these countries (The US, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Colombia)
  • The number of deaths this week is higher than last week in four of the twelve countries where over 10,000 people had died by last week (India – 7,557/6,884, the UK 83/57, Italy 72/46, Spain 442/228, Iran 870/652).

Recoveries

At least 18.5 million people have been deemed to have “recovered” after testing positive globally (18,541,133), an increase of nearly 1.5 million in the past week (1,456,164) – as reported by Johns Hopkins University. While there is considerable evidence of long-term impacts, many people who have not tested positive but have receovered are not included in this figure, and methods for recording “recoveries” vary by country.

The UK only reports 1,827 people have recovered, for instance – an increase of 118 on last week. However, this does not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus but recovered from it.

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 instances of the virus. Further, access to testing changes and this will affected confirmation. The number of people dying is arguably a more useful way to compare the impact of the virus across different countries (though methods vary there too). Nonetheless, 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 27 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (25,585,096)
  • That’s an an increase of over 1.8 million cases during the week (1,815,844), the eleventh week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed.
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 7.0% in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, a sign that global confirmation of cases may be peaking).
  • 23 countries have over 200,000 cases (Indonesia is added to the list with 200,035), and four have over 1 million confirmed cases (The US, Brazil, India and Russia. India passed 4 million this week – with 600,605 cases identified).
  • Rather than details for each of these as in previous weeks, we offer a summary:
  • The US, Brazil and India each confirmed over 200,000 new cases in the most recent week.
  • Confirmed cases this week are higher than the number last week in 14 of the 23 countries (India, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, France, the UK, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Italy, Iraq, Germany, and Indonesia)
  • Spain confirmed a total of 63,540 cases, a 13.5% increase
  • France confirmed 49,750 cases, an 15.4% increase
  • The number of cases confirmed during the week in the UK (11,517) was higher than the previous week (9,532) and the highest since the week-ending 2nd June (29,270). However, access to testing is very different, so the numbers are really ‘like for like’ – see above.

My condolences

I hope that this update helps contribute to understanding, and leads people to take care to reduce the potential impact of the virus. My best wishes and condolences to all those affected.

Notes

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

Please remember we have a list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website (and welcome further recommendations). 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.

4th Sept data update

Every week we share a lay-person summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. We really welcome questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, in our Facebook group, or email us at: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com. While the sources referenced are authoritative, and there is little of our own analysis, please note that the analysis is our own, and not conducted by a public health expert.

This week the update is a bit late, but we will return to a regular Wednesday updates next week.

Key points

  • Across Gloucestershire, there were 40 positive tests in the most recent full week of data (to the 28th August) and there does seem to be a slowly rising trend.
  • In the most recent week for which data is available, specimens produced 6 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district – this is a higher weekly rate than in June and most of July, but there does not appear to be a rising trend in recent weeks locally.
  • In the most recent week of data (to the 21st August), two more people have sadly been added to the total number of people to have died in Gloucestershire with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificates, now 581. One was from Cheltenham and one from Gloucester.
  • The number of cases confirmed during the week in the UK (9,532) is the highest since the week-ending 9th June (11,184). Some – but not all – of the recent increase is due to increase in testing – see below for details.
  • Over 25 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed globally, and over 850,000 people have died with their deaths attributed at least in part to Covid-019.

Local statistics

Positive Tests

  • In the most recent week for which data is available (to the 28th August), specimens produced 6 positive tests associated with people in Stroud district. This number may be revised upwards slightly as some specimens submitted in that week may not have their results yet. Regardless, the number is broadly in line with positive tests since the week ending 24th July – these are slightly higher than the numbers in June and the rest of July, but it does not look to be a rising trend.
  • Across Gloucestsershire, there were 40 positive tests that week, and there does seem to be a slowly rising trend. We can hope that instead this largely represents a higher proportion of people with/who have recently had the virus being picked up in testing, and that this can help to contain any further spread (unfortunately there does not seem to be local available data on test numbers or positivity rates so it is hard to tell if the rise represents more testing or more infections).
  • Nationally, while there are higher numbers of positive tests these are not linked to higher hospitalisations or deaths, and while equivalent local data is not available it still appears that people most at risk from the virus are being protected from contracting it.
  • Whether in Stroud or Gloucestershire (or even the UK) as a whole, that positive tests are still being conducted does show the virus is still circulating, so it is worth taking the basic precautions. This way, we can continue to reduce the numbers of people being hospitalised and dying, and hopefully enable further opening up of restrictions.
Source: Government coronavirus dashboard data download
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

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). Once again, the numbers in Stroud district are too low to show up on this map – though low numbers of positive tests in areas of Swindon, Bristol and Cheltenham are highlighted.

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.

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. Access the latest government guidance and FAQ on “what you can and can’t do” online (last updated 26th August).

Estimated number of people with the virus

Alongside positive tests, we can also look to estimates that can cover people who – for whatever reason – do not get tested. The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates (4th September) that 46 people may actively have the virus in Stroud district (higher than the 13 last week – but both estimates are still low, and the window around them will be high due to the small smaples on which the estimates are made). The Study also estimates 46 active cases in nearby Gloucester and South Gloucestershire, 38 in Cotswold district, 54 in Cheltenham, 64 in Tewkesbury and 31 in the Forest of Dean. These estimates are all higher than last week but remain relatively low in the context of recent weeks and months, and are consistent with the confirmed cases number to the extent we would expect a higher number of active cases than are identified in testing (if people cannot access tests, do not realise they might have Covid, or do not choose to have a test even in they suspect they have Covid). Further, they are made from small samples and it would be extremely difficult to be statistically accurate at this level.

You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website.

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

National level data

As of 29th August there were 775 Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals, down from 871 on the 22nd August a week previously. 52 patients confirmed to have Covid-19 were admitted in England, compared to 25 on the 22nd August (the lowest daily number in the public dataset). The numbers are low and fluctuating around 50, rather than rising in a clear trend.

As of 29th August there were 56 patients on ventilation, compared to 66 on the 22nd August. We hope that the falling number represents recoveries, and that the number of people requiring ventilation continues to fall.

Testing

The UK government coronanvirus dashboard summarises a number of datasources, and NHS Test and Trace data for England is also available. Check out the Independent SAGE weekly video summary too. These sources show:

  • Across the UK, 1,176 positive tests resulted from specimens submitted on the 29th August – and the 7-day average was 1,313.7. This compares to 829 positive tests a week earlier on the 22nd August – when the 7-day average was 1,143.7). The daily number of positive tests has generally been increasing since 4th July when it hit a lot of 402.
  • “6,732 new people tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in England in between 20 August and 26 August. This is an increase of 6% in positive cases compared to the previous week and the highest weekly number since the end of May. The number of people tested has decreased by 1% in the same time period.”
  • “31,388 people were identified as coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive between 20 August and 26 August. Of these, 69.4% were reached and asked to self-isolate, compared to 77.1% in the previous week”
New confirmed Covid-19 cases via Independent SAGE

The image below shows that positive tests per 100,000 people are concentrated in particular locations. The rate is relatively low in Gloucestershire (5-9.9), and lower still in most of the South West (0.01-4.99). The highest nearby rate is in Swindon (15.0-29.9), which is still lower than in the North West hotspots.

Source: PHE Surveillance report

As noted by Prof Christina Pagel, the number of new positive tests cannot be explained only by new tests (see below). The number of tests has increased by around 50% (from 231k to 316k) since the week-ending 1st July, but the number of people testing positive has increased by nearer 100% (from 3,122 to 6,122 for the week ending 26th August). About half the increase is due to more testing, and about half is due to more infections, in short.

Prof Christina Pagel also summarises the contact tracing data in the latest Independent SAGE weekly video, noting that of 7,673 people referred to Test and Trace in the week ending 26th August, just 65% of new cases provided at least one contact. She also argues there has been no significant improvement in the system since May.

The PHE surveillance summary shows that positive tests in recent weeks – the chart on the right in the image below (aka “b”) are more associated with people in the 20-29 age bracket than tests overall since week 5. However, it’s important to note that this largely affects availability of testing – most testing at the peak of the virus spread in the UK was only available after hospitalisation, which appears to be much more likely for older people.

Source: PHE Surveillance report

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

Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

People who have died

  • PHE report 41,592 “deaths in laboratory-confirmed positive individuals where the death occurred within 28 days” (to the end of week 35, 28th August). This is the number used by Johns Hopkins University on their international tracker. By this measure 57 people died in the most recent week, fewer than the 69 who died in the week previously.
  • Of the 41,592 people, PHE say 36,881 died in England (a rate of 65.5 per 100,000 people, compared to 50.6 in Wales, 45.7 in Scotland, and 29.8 in Northern Ireland).
  • The ONS report that “Of the deaths registered in Week 34, 138 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 22 weeks and a 0.7% decrease compared with Week 33 (1 death), accounting for 1.4% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • ONS data shows the total number of people to die with COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificates is now 49,537 (covering 12.9% of all deaths this year). The PHE data is restricted to people who tested positive, while death certificates can include clinical judgement where a test didn’t take place – which was regularly the case early on in the UK when testing was restricted.
  • The ONS explain: “COVID-19 has had a large impact on the number of deaths registered over the last few months and is the main reason for deaths increasing above what is expected (the five-year average). The disease has had a larger impact on those most vulnerable (for example, those who already suffer from a medical condition) and those at older ages. Some of these deaths would have likely occurred over the duration of the year but have occurred earlier because of COVID-19. These deaths occurring earlier than expected could contribute to a period of deaths below the five-year average, as seen in Weeks 25 to 32.”

While the differing PHE and ONS methods produce different results, it remains the case that tens of thousands of people have died with their deaths attributed to Covid-19. As fuller analysis of data is possible, there may be further adjustments to the total figures, but these shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Covid-19 is not a serious and regularly fatal disease, or that there is any deliberate attempt to either underestimate or overestimate the number of deaths related to the virus.

PHE surveillance report

Every week PHE publish a “surveillance report” on the pandemic.

This week they say: “Some surveillance indicators suggest that there have been small increases in COVID-19 activity at a national level during week 35 while other indicators remain stable. Case detections in England increased from 6,744 in week 34 to 7,122 in week 35. Case rates were highest in North West and Yorkshire and Humber. At a local authority level, incidence was highest in Bolton, followed by Oldham. Case rates were highest in the 15-44 year age group.”

As last week, Swindon remains on the “watchlist following the weekly Local Action Committee meeting” along with 33 other local authorities – many of them in the North West. Unlike in previous weeks the “trend” columns are both green for Swindon so hopefully the “enhanced support” in the area is helping to contain spread and the authority will be removed from the watch list soon.

PHE also say: “Emergency department attendances with a COVID-19-like diagnosis and overall hospitalisation and ICU/HDU admission rates for confirmed COVID-19 admissions remained stable. The highest hospitalisation rates were in Tameside and Manchester.”

Source: PHE

For the South West as a whole, PHE report 13,969 confirmed cases (up 285 from last week), and an incidence rate of 249/100,000 people. This is the lowest rate for an English region, the highest rate is 690/100,000 in the North West.

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, there are reputable sources doing their best to make data available, which we summarise below

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

Last week we highlighted the Financial Times’ 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 3rd highest number (621.7) after Peru (904.5) and Belgium (862) – with the number of people dying in Chile (602.7), Brazil (590.4) and the United States (543.1) still increasing quickly. Other countries have far lower rates, despite the virus having been present for a similar time – such as Germany (112 deaths per million), Cuba (8.8), South Korea (6.4), and New Zealand (4.5).

Another option on the FT site is to compare the “Seven-day rolling average of new deaths, by number of days since 3 average daily deaths first recorded”. This makes it possible to see whether the worst impacts of the virus have peaked in a country, and identify any “second waves”. In the chart below, we have picked out the UK – where the 7-day average number of daily deaths has been falling consistently for a long time, but has stabilised at a low level. The chart also shows the pattern in Spain – where a sharper decline in daily deaths is accompanied by a more recent uptick that may represent the foothills of a “second wave” – though this is rising far more slowly (with an even slower return to increase in France). The chart also shows that daily deaths continue to be very high in other countries such as Peru, and the United States – though they are at least falling in these countries (note that the left-hand scale representing numbers of deaths is “logarithmic” – to make it easier to compare very large numbers with much smaller ones on the same chart).

Source: Financial Times

For interanational comparisons we also recommend the Office for National Statistics “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“, and 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 to the 13th July. Sadly this no longer seems to be being updated. We will include a chart again when there is an update.

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows

As of the 2nd September, he number of people who have died is now well over 850,000 – 857,413

37,167 people died in the past week (the lowest weekly figure since 29th July when 30,043 people died).

There are fourteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved. Rather than report the figures for each of these as we have been doing in previous weeks, we will from now on produce a summary:

  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is below 100 in 2 of these 14 countries: the UK (69) and Italy (40).
  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is above 1,000 in 6 of these countries (The US, Brazil, Mexico, India, Peru, and Colombia)
  • The number of deaths this week is higher than last week in two countries (India – 6,884/6,561 and Mexico – 3,791/3,676).

Recoveries

At least 17 million people have been deemed to have “recovered” after testing positive globally (17,084,969), an increase of nearly 1.5 million in the past week (1,478,875). – as reported by Johns Hopkins University. While there is considerable evidence of long-term impacts, many people who have not tested positive but have receovered are not included in this figure, and methods for recording “recoveries” vary by country.

The UK only reports 1,709 people have recovered, for instance – an increase of 158 on last week. However, this does not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus but recovered from it.

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 25 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (25,769,252)
  • That’s an an increase of over 1.8 million cases during the week (1,838,603), the tenth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed.
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 7.7% in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, a sign that global confirmation of cases may be peaking).
  • 22 countries have over 200,000 cases (the same number as last week), and four have over 1 million confirmed cases (The US, Brazil, India and Russia – the latter now has 1,001,965 confirmed cases).
  • Rather than details for each of these as in previous weeks, we offer a summary:
  • The US, Brazil and India each confirmed over 250,000 new cases in the most recent week.
  • Confirmed cases this week are higher than the number last week in 7 of these countries (India, Spain, Argentina, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany)
  • Spain confirmed a total of 58,420 cases, a 14.2% increase
  • France confirmed 38,066 cases, an 13.3% increase
  • The number of cases confirmed during the week in the UK (9,532) is the highest since the week-ending 9th June (11,184). As above, bear in mind that some – but not all – of the recent increase is due to increase in testing.

Our condolences

The purpose of these updates is to improve understanding of the pandemic and its affects, particular in Stroud district. We appreciate that looking at data in this way does not allow space to record the humanity and individuality of the thousands of people affected, including friends and family of loved ones – to whom we send our condolences.

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.

26th August 2020 data update

Every week we share a summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. We really welcome questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, in our Facebook group, or email us at: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com.

Key points

  • As of 25th August there have been 286 total confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud district. This number is nine higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 22nd August.
  • As of 25th August a total of 1,972 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 30 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 22nd August.
  • The number of cases confirmed during the week in the UK (7,705) is lower than last week (8,776) but higher than the week before (6,146).
  • PHE report 41,535 “deaths in laboratory-confirmed positive individuals where the death occurred within 28 days” (to the end of week 34, 21st August). By this measure, 69 people have died in the past week.
  • As of 14th August (the most recent available ONS data) 52,026 people haved died in England and Wales with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate. There are no new death registrations of deaths for Stroud or Gloucestershire in the most recent data (since week 24 / 12th June in Stroud – a month without a death registration, and since week 30 / 24th July in Gloucestershire).
  • Over 23 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed globally, over 800,000 have died, including 38,314 people in the past week.
  • Over 15 million people have recovered after testing positive globally, an increase of nearly 1.5 million in the past week.

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud district

  • As of 25th August there have been 286 total confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud district. This number is nine higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 22nd 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 238.4 per 100,000 people (27th lowest / 289th highest rate of 314 similar local authorities). For comparison, the highest rate after Leicester (a Unitary Authority also covered below) is Blackburn with Darwen (1,139 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 34 ending the 21st August may still be revised. The data for the most recent week is the highest number of cases confirmed in a week since 15th May. It is important to remember both that access to testing is now broader and that there may still be additional cases which are not confirmed through testing (whether of asymptomatic people, or people with symptoms who for whatever reason do not get a test). It sadly looks at though the virus is still circulating locally and that contact tracing and self-isolation by people with symptoms is not succeeding in preventing continued infections. There is still not really enough data to identify a clearly rising trend, but neither is there evidence that the virus is not in the district. Further, Stroud district isn’t an island – please see the data below for Gloucestershire where there does appear to be some evidence of a rising trend, and for the UK as a whole.
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). This week the numbers in Stroud are too low to show up on this map – though confirmation of cases in Swindon, Bristol and Up Hatherley are highligthed.

Confirmed cases in Gloucestershire

  • As of 18th August a total of 1,972 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 30 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week (the same as last week), with the last case confirmed from a specimen submitted on the 22nd August.
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 309.5 cases per 100,000 people. Gloucestershire still has among the lowest rates (22nd lowest / 128th highest).
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. Data for week 34 ending the 21st August may still be revised, but there does seem to be a trend of slowly rising cases since week 25 (ending 19th June). While confirmed case numbers are still low week by week – and in part represent greater availability of testing, 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 people can pick up the virus when travelling outside the county or from people travelling to it.
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

Estimate of local cases

The Covid Symptom Study currently estimates that 13 people may actively have the virus in Stroud district. The Study also estimates 0 active cases in nearby Gloucester and South Gloucestershire, by 19 in Cotswold district, 24 in Cheltenham, 29 in Tewkesbury and 68 in the Forest of Dean. These estimates are low and consistent with the confirmed cases number to the extent we would expect a higher number of active cases than is confirmed, and that they are made from small samples and it would be extremely difficult to be statistically accurate at this level.

You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website. 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.

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

National level data

There are several useful sources for UK level data which you can explore yourself:

  • Each week, the Office for National Statistics releases data on the number of people who have died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate, placing this in the context of the number of people to die that week, and in the year so far.
  • The GOV.UK dashboard shows daily counts and 7-day averages for: confirmed cases, deaths, hospital admissions, patients in hospital and patients on ventilators. The screenshot below is taken from this dashboard, which sadly was having a technical hitch today so we have been unable to summarise the data. The site is quite easy to use, try it yourself.
  • The PHE surveillance report covers a wider range of information including local authority areas where confirmed cases are high or rising in concerning ways / monitoring of areas with local lockdowns.
Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk

Deaths

  • PHE report 41,535 “deaths in laboratory-confirmed positive individuals where the death occurred within 28 days” (to the end of week 34, 21st August). This is the number used by Johns Hopkins University on their international tracker. By this measure 69 people have died in the past week.
  • The ONS report that “Of the deaths registered by 14 August [week 32], 52,026 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 13.1% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • The ONS also note that “the number of deaths up to 14 August was 398,400, which is 53,044 more than the five-year average” (this is the “excess deaths” figure favoured for international comparisons of responses to the pandemic)

While the differing PHE and ONS methods produce different results, it remains the case that tens of thousands of people have died with their deaths attributed to Covid-19. As fuller analysis of data is possible, there may be further adjustments to the total figures, but these shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Covid-19 is not a serious and regularly fatal disease, or that there is any deliberate attempt to either underestimate or overestimate the number of deaths related to the virus.

Cases – confirmed and estimated

While it is not the policy of the government or their Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the Independent SAGE recommend a the country seek to achieve “Zero Covid” i.e. the elimination of the virus from the UK. They suggest that a seven day rolling average of one new case per million population per day could represent ‘control’ in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the regions of England.

The GOV.UK dashboard shows 1,048 daily cases, similar to the number we reported for the last two weeks (16th August = 1,040 cases, 9th August = 1,062)

Nonetheless, trend appears to be slowly rising. This FT article explains “Why UK coronavirus deaths are falling even as cases are rising” – in brief: Increased testing (catching more infections with mild or no symptoms that are less likely to lead to deaths), related to the previous point – the Changing age profile of infections (with people at greatest risk often still minimising their social contacts even if they are no longer officially “shielding”), and improvements in medical care (whether through treatments or increased capacity). The article also mentions other possible causes related to lower “viral loads”, seasonality, and virus mutuation.

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

Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

PHE surveillance report

Every week PHE publish a “surveillance report” on the pandemic.

This week they say: “A number of COVID-19 surveillance indicators suggest a small increase in COVID-19 activity at a national level during week 33. Case detections in England increased from 5,763 in week 32 to 6, 418 in week 33. Increases in activity were noted in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the East Midlands. At a local authority level, incidence remain highest in Oldham, although this has decreased from the previous week. followed by Blackburn with Darwen. Case rates were highest in the 15-44 year age group.”

As last week, Swindon remains on the “watchlist following the weekly Local Action Committee meeting” along with 27 other local authorities – many of them in the North West.

PHE also say: “Emergency department attendances with a COVID-19-like diagnosis and overall hospitalisation and ICU/HDU admission rates for confirmed COVID-19 admissions remained stable. A slight increase in hospitalisation rates in the North West was seen.COVID-19 deaths continue to decline and, while delays to death registrations can impact on the most recent data, there has been no detectable excess mortality since week 24 overall.”

Source: PHE

For the South West as a whole, PHE report 13,969 confirmed cases (up 285 from last week), and an incidence rate of 249/100,000 people. This is the lowest rate for an English region, the highest rate is 690/100,000 in the North West.

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, there are reputable sources doing their best to make data available, which we summarise below

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

Last week we highlighted the Financial Times’ 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 3rd highest number (620.5) after Peru (861.3) and Belgium (860.1) – with deaths still rising fast in Chile, Brazil and the United States which will potentially achieve even worse rates. Other countries have far lower rates, despite the virus having been present for a similar time – such as Germany (111 deaths per million), Cuba (8), South Korea (6), and New Zealand (4.5).

Another option on the FT site is to compare the “Seven-day rolling average of new deaths, by number of days since 3 average daily deaths first recorded”. This makes it possible to see whether the worst impacts of the virus have peaked in a country, and identify any “second waves”. In the chart below, we have picked out the UK – where the 7-day average number of daily deaths has been falling consistently for a long time, but appears to have stalled. The pattern is similar to that for Italy. The chart also shows the pattern in Spain – where a sharper decline in daily deaths is accompanied by a more recent uptick that may represent the foothills of a “second wave” – though this also appears to have peaked and once again be in decline. The chart also shows that daily deaths continue to be very high in other countries such as Peru, Brazil, and the United States – and rising in countries like Colombia (note that the left-hand scale representing numbers of deaths is “logarithmic” – to make it easier to compare very large numbers with much smaller ones on the same chart).

Source: Financial Times

For interanational comparisons we also recommend the Office for National Statistics “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“, and 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 to the 13th July. Sadly this no longer seems to be being updated. We will include a chart again when there is an update.

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows

The number of people who have died is now well over 800,000 – 820,246

38,314 people died in the past week (the lowest weekly figure since 29th July when 30,043 people died).

There are fourteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved. Rather than report the figures for each of these as we have been doing in previous weeks, we will from now on produce a summary:

  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is below 100 in 2 of these 14 countries: the UK (69) and Italy (40).
  • The number of deaths attributed to Covid19 is above 1,000 in 7 of these countries (The US, Brazil, Mexico, India, Peru, Colombia, and South Africa)
  • The number of deaths this week is higher than last week in four countries (France – 115/105, Spain 254/89, Colombia 2,270/2,144, and Chile 412/368).

Recoveries

At least 15 million people have recovered after testing positive globally (15,618,965), an increase of nearly 1.5 million in the past week (1,467,458). – as reported by Johns Hopkins University. While there is considerable evidence of long-term impacts, many people who have not tested positive but have receovered are not included in this figure.

The UK only reports 1,551 people have recovered, for instance – an increase of 58 on last week. However, this does not reflect the true number of people who have had the virus but recovered from it.

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 23 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (23,930,649)
  • That’s an an increase of over 1.7 million cases during the week (1,756,676), the ninth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed.
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 7.9% in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, a sign that global confirmation of cases may be peaking).
  • 22 countries have over 200,000 cases (Iraq and the Philippines crosss this threshold this week), and three have over 2 million confirmed cases.
  • Rather than details for each of these as in previous weeks, we offer a summary:
  • The US, Brazil and India each confirmed over 200,000 new cases in the most recent week.
  • Confirmed cases this week are higher than the number last week in 7 of these countries (India, Spain, Argentina, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany)
  • Spain confirmed a total of 48,357 cases, a 13.3% increase
  • France confirmed 29,368 cases, an 11.4% increase
  • The number of cases confirmed during the week in the UK (7,705) is lower than last week (8,776) but higher than the week before (6,146).

Our condolences

We hope these updates can improve understanding of the spread and seriousness of Covid-19, and contribute to public health efforts to eliminate the virus. We are aware that presenting the information in this way does not allow for a full appreciation of the humanity of the people affected – we send our condolences and best wishes to the many individuals and their loved ones.

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.
decorative

Wednesday 19th August 2020

Every week we share a summary of local, national, and international data on the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. We really welcome questions, feedback, or suggestions for inclusion of data you have found useful, in our Facebook group, or email us at: stroudcommunitycoronaresponse@gmail.com.

Key points

  • The big statistical news this week is a change to the total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the Public Health England (PHE) dataset (now 41,466). Below we explain this change, and why it does not impact the ONS register of deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate (now 51,879 in England and Wales, to 7th August).
  • As of 18th August there have been 277 total confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud district. This number is five higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 15th August.
  • 1,942 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 30 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week.
  • As of 7th August, no-one has died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate in Stroud district since 12th June, and in Gloucestershire since 19th June – a month ago today.
  • Swindon is identified in PHE’s weekly surveillance report as having a rising trend of individuals tested per day and being an area of “Concern” – it is the only local authority area in the south of England with a rate of Covid-19 cases confirmed during the week of 45 or above.

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud district

  • As of 18th August there have been 277 total confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud district. This number is five higher than we reported last week. The data of specimen for the last confirmed case was 15th 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 230.9 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). 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 (a Unitary Authority also covered below) is Blackburn with Darwen (1,139 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 33 ending the 14th 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. It may be that a higher proportion of cases are being picked up since 24th July and in August than was the case for June and most of July. However, Stroud district isn’t an island – please see the data below for Gloucestershire where there does appear to be some evidence of a rising trend, and for the UK as a whole.
chart described in text
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 18th August a total of 1,942 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 30 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week (very similar to the 29 we reported last week), with the last case confirmed from a specimen submitted on the 16th August.
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 304.8 cases per 100,000 people. Gloucestershire still has among the lowest rates (22nd lowest / 128th highest). For comparison, the lowest rate is in North East Lincolnshire at 144.8, and the highest rate is in Leicester at 1,550.4. Neighbouring South Gloucestershire has an even lower rate than Gloucestershire: 275.3.
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. Data for week 33 ending the 14th August may still be revised, but it is beginning to look more like there is a trend of slowly rising cases since week 25 (ending 19th June), even if the latest week’s data is lower than for last week. While confirmed case numbers are still low week by week – and in part represent greater availability of testing, 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.
chart describred in text
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard
rates by Local Authoirty are much higher in the north in general, particularly in the north west
Source: PHE

Estimate of local cases

The Covid Symptom Study was estimating a rate of 1,412 per 1,000,000 people for Stroud district a few weeks ago – resulting in an estimate by Gloucestershire Live that 168 people might have the virus in the district. This week the figure is 137 (lower even than the 282 active cases per million people of last week). 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 15 people with the virus in Stroud district. This estimate is low and consistent with the confirmed cases number to the extent is it made from a small sample and it would be extremely difficult to be statistically accurate at this level. Nonetheless, this is a reasssuring estimate.

You can read about how these estimates are made on the Covid Symptom Study website. 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.

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

National level data

Public Health England (PHE) update to total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19.

On July the 16th the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine published a piece by Yoon K Loke and Carl Heneghan, titled “Why no-one can ever recover from COVID-19 in England – a statistical anomaly“. It highlighted the fact the way that PHE counted deaths – looking “for people on the NHS database who have ever tested positive, and simply checks to see if they are still alive or not… Anyone who has tested COVID positive but subsequently died at a later date of any cause will be included on the PHE COVID death figures.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, this made sense. PHE explain in a detailed “Technical Summary” that the methodology was based “a statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe on 4 June 2020 that“WHO has no defined time-limitation for COVID-19 related deaths. This should be a clinical decision” (as indeed it is in death-certificate data).

PHE has now “undertaken an assessment ofthe impact ofdifferent timeperiodsfrom the first positive COVID-19 specimen and date of death(with and without mention of COVID-19 on the death certificate) on the mortality series which has undergone statistical peer review”. This finds that: 88% “of COVID-19 related deaths occurred within 28 days of the first positive specimen date, and that for those deaths 95% have a mention of COVID-19 on the death certificate. The proportion of deaths witha mention of COVID-19 on the certificate decreases for deaths witha longer interval between the first positive specimen and date of death;howeverthisis 73.4% for those with an interval of 29-42 days and 48.1%for those with an interval of 43-60 days between specimen date and date of death”. This is detailed in their Table 1 included below:

Table providing details. At 43-60 days, 48.1% of deaths identified through the PHE method have COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate
Source: PHE

The PHE data series is now being revised to include two measures:

  • “deaths in laboratory-confirmed positive individuals where the death occurred within 28 days”, and
  • “deaths within 60 days or if the death occurred after 60 days, COVID-19 is listed on the death registration.”

Both measures will bepublished daily on the GOV.UK dashboard and weekly in the PHE surveillance report.

As a result, the total number of deaths attributed to Covid-19 by PHE has been reduced by 5,377 (11%). However, it is important to note that the ONS data below uses a different methodlogy – focusing only on mentions of Covid-19 on death certificates (“ONS death registrations which can be linked to laboratory confirmed COVID-19 tests are included in the PHE data series, but ONS death registrations without laboratory confirmation are not” this is a reasonable approach to take, but means that when people who died before tests were available for them will not be included even if clinicians are convinced Covid-19 played a part).

While the two methods produce different results, it remains the case that tens of thousands of people have died with Covid-19. As fuller analysis of data is possible, there may be further adjustments to estimates, but these shouldn’t be taken as an indication that Covid-19 is not a serious and regularly fatal disease, or that there is any deliberate attempt to either underestimate or overestimate the number of deaths related to the virus. The chart below shows the effect of excluding deaths where a first positive test specimen was collected over 28 days before death on the cumulative number of Covid-19 deaths PHE report.

increasing proportion of deaths in red as "28 days" limitation affects cumulative total
Source: PHE

PHE provide a list of Frequently Asked Questions about this change, including: “Does this mean that deaths have been over-reported up to now?“, to which they answer “The way deaths were countedwas based on the best available evidence at each stage of the epidemic. A time limit could only be recommended once enough data were available to analyse the time between positive test result and death, cross checking against death registration”.

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

  • “The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 7 August 2020 (Week 32) was 8,945; this was 1 death fewer than in Week 31.”
  • “In Week 32, the number of deaths registered was 1.7% below the five-year average (157 deaths fewer); this is the eighth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.”
  • “Of the deaths registered in Week 32, 152 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 20 weeks and a 21.2% decrease compared with Week 31 (193 deaths), accounting for 1.7% 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 7 August was 389,008, which is 52,737 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 7 August, 51,879 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 13.3% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • “the number of deaths for England was 365,354, which is 51,151 (16.3%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 49,267 (13.5%) mentioned COVID-19.”
deaths in March and April elevated, particularly by Covid-19 - and now back to average levels
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 16th August 1,040 cases were confirmed (9th August: 1,062), and the 7-day rolling average was 1,043 (last week 859.9). As you can see, this represents a slight rise since 5th July when 516 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. The latest chart also suggests that measures to control the virus in the areas where it is most prevalent may be stemming the rising trend

daily confirmed cases rising slightly but with a dink down - and still much lower than during April and May
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 also report that “Between 26 April and 26 July, 6.2% of people tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on a blood test, suggesting they had the infection in the past.”

The COVID app figures:

  • COVID Symptom Study app incidence: 1,214 daily new cases (lower than last week’s 1,626)
  • COVID Symptom Study app prevalence: 20,300 symptomatic COVID (lower than last week’s 24,720). The chart below shows the trend: numbers now appear to be falling, a good sign that “Zero Covid” in the UK could be achieved if people continue to adhere to precautions.
estimated number of active cases falling
Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

The two different methods produce different result in a similar ballpark: 20,000-28,000 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

The governments coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare dashboard shows 16 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital in England on the 16th August, together with 38 for Wales – making 54 for the UK as a whole. That is down from 94 a week earlier (10th August – 63 for England and 31 for Wales). By contrast, at the peak – on the 12th April – a total of 19,872 Covid-19 patients were admitted to hospital. The trend appears to be continuing downward after a brief small rise. We can perhaps again imagine days in the near future where noone will be admitted to hospital with Covid-19 across the UK (as now appears to have been the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland for a number of individual days).

number of patients admitted to hospital falling
Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare


As of the 17th August, there were 895 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the UK. 73 of these patients are in mechanical ventilation beds – and we can send our hopes that these people will recover. The number is down from 999 a week previously on 10th August, though we do not know to what extent this is because people have died, or because they have recovered and been discharged.

number of patients in hospital falling
Source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/healthcare

PHE surveillance report

Every week PHE publish a “surveillance report” on the pandemic. This week “The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, drawing on epidemiological advice from the CMO, NHS Test and Trace, JBC and PHE, has determined the following Watchlist (Table 1), highlighting the local authorities of greatest con-cern.”
We have reproduced this below to note the inclusion of nearby Swindon – identified as having a rising trend of individuals tested per day and being an area of “Concern”, defined as being “for areas with the highest prevalence, where the local area is taking tar-geted actions to reduce prevalence e.g. additional testing in care homes and increased com-munity engagement with high risk groups”.

table identifying Swindon
Source: PHE

The comparative position of Swindon as an upper-tier local authority can be seen in the chart below: it is the only local authority area in the south of England with a rate of Covid-19 cases confirmed during the week of 45 or above.

other local authorities with high test numbers are in the North West of England - the South West has the lowest rates of any region in each local authority bar Swindon
Source: PHE

For the South West as a whole, PHE report 13,684 positive cases, and an incidence rate of 244/100,000 people. This is the lowest rate for an English region, the highest rate is 667/100,000 in the North West.

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, there are reputable sources doing their best to make data available, which we summarise below

People who have died with deaths attributed to Covid-19

Last week we highlighted the Financial Times’ 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 third highest number (619.5) after Belgium (867.2), and Peru (820) – with deaths still rising fast in Chile, Brazil and the United States which will potentially achieve even worse rates. 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).

Another option on the FT site is to compare the “Seven-day rolling average of new deaths, by number of days since 3 average daily deaths first recorded”. This makes it possible to see whether the worst impacts of the virus have peaked in a country, and identify any “second waves”. In the chart below, we have picked out the UK – where the 7-day average number of daily deaths has been falling consistently for a long time, but appears to have stalled. The pattern is similar to that for Italy. The chart also shows the pattern in Spain – where a sharper decline in daily deaths is accompanied by a more recent uptick that may represent the foothills of a “second wave” – though this also appears to have stalled. The chart also shows that daily deaths continue to be very high in other countries such as Peru, Brazil and the United States (note that the left-hand scale representing numbers of deaths is “logarithmic” – to make it easier to compare very large numbers with much smaller ones on the same chart).

chart described
Source: Financial Times

Last week, we also pointed to the Office for National Statistics useful “Comparisons of all-cause mortality between European countries and regions: January to June 2020“. 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 to the 13th July. Sadly this no longer seems to be being updated. We will include a chart again when there is an update.

Our analysis of data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker shows

The number of people who have died is now well over three-quarters of a million – 781,932

40,209 people died in the past week (very similar to the number who died in the previous week).

There are fourteen countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved:

  • The USA – over 170,000 people haved died – 171,833 (7,296 people died in the past week, a 4.4% increase. This is a slightly lower rate of increase compared to last week, but still higher than three weeks ago)
  • Brazil – 109,888 (8,136, 8.0% – the highest weekly number since 17th June, after last week we found the lowest number of people to die in a week since 2nd June)
  • Mexico – 57,774 (3,845, 7.1% – the lowest rate of increase we have reported in a week for the country)
  • India – 52,888 (6,797 – 14.7% – a higher number of people than last week)
  • The UK – 41,466 (232 people who did have been added to the total in the past week, a 0.5% increase – the lowest weekly number we have reported so far. However, this number is affected by methodlogy changes so comparisons are difficult. As explained in detail above, the total official number for the UK is technically 5,145 lower than last week. However, this is because PHE have altered their methodology and – by limiting deaths they attribute to COVID-19 to those that took place within 28 days of a positive test, reduced the total number of deaths they report by 5,377). Please note that the ONS data covered above – which appears at a lag – uses a different methodology and records that “Of the deaths registered by 7 August, 51,879 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 13.3% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • Italy – 35,405 (190, 0.5% – the highest weekly number since the 24th June)
  • France – 30,434 (106, 0.3% – the highest weekly number since the 22nd July)
  • Spain – 28,670 (89 – 0.3% – the highest number of people to die in a week for seven weeks)
  • Peru – 26,658 (5,157, 24%, higher than last week)
  • Iran – 20,125 (1,325 – 7.0%, higher than last week but lower than the week before)
  • Russia – 15,951 (720, 4.7, lower than last week)
  • Colombia – 15,619 (2,144, 15.9%, lower than last week).
  • South Africa – 12,264 (1,513, 14.1%, lower than last week)
  • Chile – 10,546 (368, 3.6, lower than last week%)

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 22 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed (22,173,973)
  • That’s an an increase of over 1.8 million cases during the week (1,867,117, the eighth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed. The total number of cases confirmed in a week is higher this week than last week.
  • Global confirmed cases increased by 9.2% in the past week (this percentage increase is falling slowly, a 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 14 countries (two more than last week).
  • The USA has confirmed over 5 million cases – 5,486,232 cases, a weekly increase of 369,689 (6.7% – a lower increase than the previous week for the fourth week running, the lowest increase since the 1st July)
  • Brazil has confirmed over 3 million cases – 3,407,354 cases, a weekly increase of 349,884 (11.4% – the highest weekly increase in cases we have recorded)
  • India has confirmed over 2 million cases – 2,767,253 – a weekly increase of 437,615 (18.8% – a higher number but lower percentage increase than last week)
  • Russia – 935,066, a weekly increase of 34,321 (3.8% – lower than last week)
  • South Africa – 592,144, a weekly increase of 26,035 (4.6% – lower than last week and a new lowest increase since 8th July when we started compiling weekly data for the country)
  • Mexico – 531,239, increase of 38,717 (7.9% – the second consecutive fall in weekly number of confirmed cases)
  • Peru – 549,321, increase of 59,641 (12.2% – higher than last week)
  • Colombia – 489,122, increase of 78,669 (19.2% – higher confirmed cases than last week, and the highest rate of increase for any country. The percentage increase is falling, which hopefully signals an approaching peak)
  • Chile – 388,855, increase of 12,239 (3.2% – lower than last week, the lowest weekly total since 17th June when we started recording numbers for the country)
  • Spain – 364,196, increase of 37,574 (11.5%). This is a nearly twice as many confirmed cases as last week. Confirmed cases have been increasing for 10 weeks in a row – just 2,034 cases were confirmed in the week ending 9th June.
  • Iran – 350,279 cases – a weekly increase of 19,090 (5.8% –higher than last week)
  • The UK – 322,178 cases, increase of 8,776 (2.8%). This is a higher number and percentage than last week, and indeed any week since 17th June (9,025, 3.1%). Confirmations of cases have risen for four consecutive weeks (though it is worth bearing in mind that this partly reflects more widespread testing, this is not the only cause). There has not yet been a week with fewer than 4,000 cases since the peak.
  • Argentina – 305,966 cases, increase of 45,055 (17.3% – lower than last week).
  • Saudi Arabia – 302,686 cases, increase of 11,218 (3.8% – higher than last week)
  • The remaining countries with over 200,000 cases are Pakistan (290,445), Bangladesh (285,091), France (256,534), Italy (254,636), Turkey (251,805), and Germany (228,543). Weekly case numbers are higher than last week in all but Pakistan.

Our condolences

The aim of these updates is to improve understanding of the pandemic in the belief this can ultimately reduce the number of people affected. We are aware that presenting the information in this way can seem cold – we send our condolences and best wishes to the many individuals and their loved ones affected.

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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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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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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Wednesday 29th July 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 27th July a total of 1,869 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 19 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week. 47 cases have been confirmed in July, compared to 51 in June.
  • As of 27th July there have been 264 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is six higher than we reported last week, and the last case to be confirmed was from a specimen on the 26th July. There have been seven confirmed cases in Stroud district this month so far – more than were confirmed in June (six).
  • The Office for National Statistics has updated their map of where people have died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate – we cover the data by areas of Stroud district below.
  • Both the ONS and the Covid Symptom Study app continue to estimate 28-29,000 symptomaticcases. It is concerning that estimates are not falling – they have been broadly similar on a daily basis during July, having been falling sharply in late June.
  • Over 300,000 cases have now been confirmed in the UK – 302,295 cases, a weekly increase of 4,906 (1.6%). This is a slightly higher number and percentage than last week (4,458, 1.5%), but still lower than the week before. 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.
  • Over 16.5 million confirmed cases have been confirmed globally (16,762,605) – an increase of over 1.8 million cases during the week (1,802,469, the sixth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed, and with the number of cases confirmed each week continuing to rise).

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud and Gloucestershire

  • As of 22nd July a total of 1,869 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 19 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week (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 not the local daily/weekly confirmed numbers – but these are available via the spreadsheets). 47 cases have been confirmed in July, compared to 51 in June.
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 295 cases per 100,000 people. This means that of 149 “Upper Tier local Authorities” (County Councils, for example), Gloucestershire has the 23rd lowest rate (or, alternatively, the 127th highest). The highest rate is in Leicester (1,361.1) and the lowest rate is in North East Lincolnshire (134.5). 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. There are only 22 equivalent local authorities where the rate is lower. 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 27th July there have been 264 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is six higher than we reported last week, and the last case to be confirmed was from a specimen on the 26th July. There have been seven confirmed cases in Stroud district this month so far – more than were confirmed in June (six). However, the presence of a mobile testing site in Stratford Park has likely led to increased testing, meaning the higher number does not necessarily mean there are more cases than there were.
  • Stroud has a confirmed cases rate of 221.8 per 100,000 people. There are 315 “Lower Tier Local Authorities” of which Stroud District Council is one. Of these, Stroud has the 27th lowest rate (alternatively, the 289th highest). For comparison, the highest rate is in Leicester (1,361.1 confirmed cases per 100,000 people – some “Unitary authorities” are on both Lower and Upper Tier lists – because they are neither/both lower and upper tier) and the lowest rate is in Torridge (77.8).
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. We are currently half-way through week 31 (in which 6 cases have been confirmed), but as the week is not complete we have left this off the chart (also as confirmations are added for the date of the specimen and therefore are only ‘up to date’ a few days after the end of a week). Confirmed case numbers have been broadly static for 7 weeks (since week 24, the 12th June). The local confirmation trend becoming static is similar to the national estimate for symptomatic cases becoming static as we entered July (see below).
Source: SCCR analysis of data from the government Coronarvirus Dashboard

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

The Office for National Statistics has updated their map of where people have died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

We provide the data for Stroud district below. The data now includes deaths from June, as well as March, April and May. You can explore the interactive map of England and Wales – which of course covers the whole of Gloucestershire.

Three more people have been registered as having died with Covid-19 mentioned on their death certifcate (the total for the district is now 92 rather than 89 people) since we last shared this map. We include all the information, including those for areas where there has been no change, below:

  1. The total numbers per “Middle Super Output Areas” or MSOAs (an ONS geographical unit that covers settlements and their surroundings)
  2. The number of people who have died per 10,000 people living in the area (only Stroud Town and Ebley and Randwick have more than 10,000 residents – but this is the comparison rate that makes most sense).
  3. The areas ranked by Covid-19 deaths as a proportion of the average number of people who died between 2014-2018.

For the Stroud district, in alphabetical order:

  • Berkeley and Sharpness: 9 people have died (no change)
  • Cam: 4 people (no change)
  • Chalford and Bussage: 4 people (1 more person has died)
  • Dursley: 4 people (no change)
  • Ebley and Randwick: 11 people (no change)
  • Frampton, Whitminster and Eastington: 5 people (no change)
  • Leonard Stanley and Uley: 5 people (no change)
  • Minchinhampton and Amberey: 1 person (no change)
  • Nailsworth: 10 people (no change)
  • Painswick, Bisley and Eastcombe: 4 people (no change)
  • Rodborough and Thrupp: 4 people (no change)
  • Stonehouse: 12 people (2 more people have died)
  • Stroud Town: 4 people (no change)
  • Upton St Leonards and Hardwicke: 11 people (no change)
  • Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood: 4 people (no change)

Death rates per 10,000 people, ranked

  • Nailsworth: 15.3
  • Stonehouse: 14.8
  • Berkeley and Sharpness: 14.0
  • Upton St Leonards and Hardwicke: 11.3
  • Ebley and Randwick: 9.3
  • Leonard Stanley and Uley: 7.4
  • Frampton, Whitminster and Eastington: 7.4
  • Chalford and Bussage: 6.3
  • Painswick, Bisley and Eastcombe: 6.0
  • Rodborough and Thrupp 5.8
  • Dursley: 5.3
  • Cam: 4.7
  • Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood: 4.6
  • Stroud Town: 3.4
  • Minchinhampton and Amberley: 1.5

(these calculations are based on the ONS 2018 mid-year population data – but any mistakes are ours)

People who died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate as a proportion of the 5 year average number of people to die in the area:

  • Upton St Leonards and Harwicke: 16.2%
  • Nailsworth: 14.9%
  • Stonehouse: 13.6%
  • Berkeley and Sharpness: 11.3%
  • Chalford and Bussage: 9.4%
  • Rodborough and Thrupp: 8.1%
  • Ebley and Randwick: 8.0%
  • Leonard Stanley: 7.1%
  • Cam: 4.9%
  • Dursley: 4.7%
  • Frampton, Whitminster and Eastington: 4.6%
  • Painswick, Bisley and Eastcombe: 4.6%
  • Stroud Town: 4.2%
  • Wotton-under-Edge and Kingswood: 4.1%
  • Minchinhampton and Amberley: 1.2%

(these calculations are based on the ONS deaths data from 2014-2018 – again any errors are ours).

The PHE weekly surveillance report (30th January – 21st July 2020) shows:

  • 2,104 people have died in the South West – 18 people have died since the previous report (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 93/100,000 in the North West)
  • 12,978 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the South West, 99 more than in the last report. This is the lowest weekly total for over 5 weeks, and it is the second week where the number of confirmed cases has fallen. Bear in mind though that the data only covers the period to 21st July.
  • This equates to an incidence rate of 232/100,000 – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is 609/100,000 in the North West).
  • A new surveillance report will be published on the gov.uk website soon (probably the 31st July).

National level data

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

  • “The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 17 July 2020 (Week 29) was 8,823, this was 133 deaths more than Week 28.”
  • “In Week 29, the number of deaths registered was 3.0% below the five-year average (270 deaths fewer), this is the fifth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average”
  • Of the deaths registered in Week 29, 295 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 17 weeks and a 19.4% decrease compared with Week 28 (366 deaths), accounting for 3.3% 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 17 July was 362,229, which is 53,148 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 17 July 2020, 51,264 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 14.2% of all deaths in England and Wales.”
  • “the number of deaths for England was 340,267, which is 51,454 (17.8%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 48,692 deaths (14.3%) 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.

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: 1,884 daily new cases (this is lower than last week)
  • COVID Symptom Study app prevalence: 29,175 symptomatic COVID. 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 – rising slowly if showing any directional trend.
Source: COVID Symptom Study App estimates

You will notice that the two different methods give quite similar results – 1,900-2,800 new daily cases, and 28,000-29,000 symptomatic cases. 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). 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

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) publish government data from “Hospital Acute Trusts data in England from major emergency departments that provide a consultant-led 24-hour service (a type 1 A&E)” with regard to admissions for Covid-19, up to 27th July. This data used to form part of the daily Cabinet Office coronavirus briefings. On the 27th July there were 14 hospital admissions – compared to a peak of 3,099 on the 31st March, and 79 on the 20th July (ie, the previous week). This clear downward trend is a good sign.

Source: CEBM

At the global level

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

  • Over 16.5 million confirmed cases (16,762,605) – an increase of over 1.8 million cases during the week (1,802,469, the sixth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed, and with the number of cases confirmed each week continuing to rise).
  • 12.0% of global confirmed cases were confirmed in the past week (this percentage increase is at least falling slowly).
  • Nearly 650,000 people have now died – 646,812.
  • 30,043 people died in the past week (around 8,000 fewer than the number who died in the previous week). In other words, 4.9% of people who died with the virus, died in the last week. While this is still a very high number, it is the lowest number of people to die in a week since starting our weekly updates on the 12th May.
  • 19 countries have over 200,000 cases (no new countries join the list), and three have over 1 million confirmed cases:
    • The USA now has over 4 million confirmed cases – 4,352,304 cases, a weekly increase of 450,169 (11.5% – a lower increase than last week, but still larger in terms of number of cases than the previous week)
    • Brazil – 2,483,191 cases, a weekly increase of 323,567 (15.0% – a higher number and percentage after two weeks of falls)
    • India – 1,531,669 – a weekly increase of 338,591 (28.4% – higher than last week)
    • Russia – 827,455, a weekly increase of 39,609 (5.0% – a lower increase than the previous week, but very similar to the week before that)
    • Mexico – 402,697, increase of 46,442 (13.0% more confirmed cases but a slightly lower percentage increase than last week for the third week running – Mexico appears to be approaching a peak/plateau)
    • Peru – 395,005, increase of 32,918 (9.1% – higher than last week)
    • Chile – 349,800, increase of 15,117 (4.5% – marginally lower than last week, meaning three weeks of declining weekly numbers)
    • The UK – 302,295 cases, increase of 4,906 (1.6%). This is a slightly higher number and percentage than last week (4,458, 1.5%), but still lower than the week before. 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.
    • Iran – 298,909 cases – a weekly increase of 20,082 (7.2% –higher than last week)
    • Spain – 280,610, increase of 14,416 (5.4%). This is a considerable increase for the third 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 7 weeks in a row.
    • Pakistan – 276,288, increase of 8,860 (3.3%, lower than last week for the third week in a row, spread of the virus is coming under control in the country)
    • Saudi Arabia – 270,831, increase of 15,006 (5.9% – lower than last week for at least the third week in a row)
    • Italy – 246,488 cases – a weekly increase of 1,736 (0.7% – very similar to last week, though there have been marginally higher confirmed cases numbers in Italy for three weeks running)
    • Turkey – 227,982, increase of 6,482 (2.9% – lower than last week for the third week running)
    • France – 221,077, increase of 6,470 (3.0% – higher than last week, for the second week running, and the highest weekly total since June)
    • Colombia – 267,385, increase of 56,347 (26.7% -very similar and high confirmed case numbers to last week, but at least a plateau from a rapidly accelerating trend)
    • Bangladesh – 232,194, increased of 21,684 (10.3 – broadly similar to last week)
  • There are eleven countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (no new countries have passed that grim threshold this week):
    • The USA – nearly 150,000 people haved died – 149,260 (7,192 people died in the past week, a 5.1% increase. This is a higher number and rate of increase to last week. There is little sign the virus is under control in the USA)
    • Brazil – 88,539 (7,052, 8.7% – marginally lower than last week. The number of people dying each week has been roughly the same for four weeks running)
    • The UK – 45,963 (456 people died in the past week, a 1% increase, very similar to week.)
    • Mexico – 44,876 (4,476, 11.1% – the highest number for four weeks)
    • Italy – 35,123 (50, 0.1% – lower than last week)
    • France – 30,226 (58, 0.2% – lower than last week)
    • India – 34,193 (5,461 – 19.0% – higher than last week)
    • Spain – 28,436 (12 – 0.04% – lower than last week)
    • Iran – 16,343 (1,709 – 11.7% – more than last week for the third week running)
    • Peru – 18,612 (5,033, 37.1% – a very high increase – potentially a statistical correction)
    • Russia – 13,642 (920, 7.2% – lower than last 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), 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 idea behind this summary of statistics is to help people to understand the pandemic and to reduce the spread of the virus. We know that the blunt representation of numbers can prompt feelings of grief and pain, even while they cannot convey the individuality of the people affected or the emotional toll caused to their loved ones. We send our condolences to all affected.

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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Data update Wednesday 22nd July

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 22nd July a total of 1,850 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 13 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week. 28 cases have been confirmed in Gloucestershire in July so far (50 were confirmed in June).
  • As of 22nd July there have been 259 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is one higher than we reported last week, but the last case to be confirmed was from a specimen on the 14th July. There have been two confirmed cases in Stroud district this month (6 were confirmed in June).
  • One more person has been registered with Covid-19 on their death certifcate since we reported on the data last week (ie, between 3rd and 10th July – the latest data available). They were not from Stroud – where the number of people who have died with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate is 92.
  • Both the ONS and the Covid Symptom Study app estimate a higher number of symptomatic cases around the UK this week than last week (24,000-28,000 cases). It is concerning that estimates are not falling.
  • Of the deaths registered by 10 July 2020, 50,946 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; 14.4% of all deaths in England and Wales.” (ONS)

Local statistics

Confirmed cases in Stroud and Gloucestershire

  • As of 22nd July a total of 1,850 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Gloucestershire. 13 cases have been added to this total since we reported on this data last week (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 not the local daily/weekly confirmed numbers – but these are available via the spreadsheets).
  • Gloucestershire has a lab-confirmed cases rate of 292 cases per 100,000 people. This means that of 149 “Upper Tier local Authorities” (County Councils, for example), Gloucestershire has the 23rd lowest rate (or, alternatively, the 127th highest). The highest rate is in Leicester (1,314.4) and the lowest rate is in North East Lincolnshire (133.3). 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. There are only 22 equivalent local authorities where the rate is lower. 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 22nd July there have been 259 confirmed cases of Covid 19 in Stroud. This number is one higher than we reported last week, but the last case to be confirmed was from a specimen on the 14th July. There have been two confirmed cases in Stroud district this month.
  • Stroud has a confirmed cases rate of 217.6 per 100,000 people. There are 315 “Lower Tier Local Authorities” of which Stroud District Council is one. Of these, Stroud has the 27th lowest rate (alternatively, the 289th highest). For comparison, the highest rate is in Leicester (1,314.4 confirmed cases per 100,000 people – some “Unitary authorities” are on both Lower and Upper Tier lists – because they are neither/both lower and upper tier) and the lowest rate is in Torridge (77.8).
  • The chart below shows confirmed cases in Gloucestershire by week. We are currently half-way through week 30 (in which 2 cases have been confirmed), but as the week is not complete we have left this off the chart (also as confirmations are added for the date of the specimin and therefore are only ‘up to date’ a few days after the end of a week). Confirmed case numbers have been broadly static for 6 weeks (since week 24, the 12th June). Just as there was not enough difference to indicate a rising trend in week 27, there is not enough difference to indicate a falling trend in week 29.

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

  • There have been at least 578 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 28 – ending 10th July 2020. One more person has been registered with Covid-19 on their death certifcate since we reported on the data last week (ie, between 3rd and 10th July).
  • 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 four 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)
  • We have previously covered a map that has been created by the Office for National Statistics shows areas of England and Wales according to how many people have died with/from Covid-19. This provides a breakdown across areas of Stroud district (by “MSOA” or “Middle Super Output Area” – an ONS geographic unit).You can explore the full ONS data by MSOA and their interactive map, and read our summary and analysis from last week.

The PHE weekly surveillance report (30th January – 14th July 2020) shows:

  • 2,086 people have died in the South West – 22 people have died since the previous report (higher than the 21 who died two weeks ago, but lower than the 33 who died last week). This remains the lowest total number of people to died with the virus of any region in England
  • This equates to a death rate of 37/100,000 people – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is 92/100,000 in the North West)
  • 12,879 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the South West, 113 more than in the last report. This is the lowest weekly total for over 4 weeks, and is a welcome drop following a previously increasing trend (319 last week, 235, 160 and 148 in the weeks before that).
  • This equates to an incidence rate of 230/100,000 – this is the lowest rate of any region in England (the highest rate is 598/100,000 in the North West).
  • A new surveillance report will be published on the gov.uk website soon (probably the 24th July).

National level data

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

  • “The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 10 July 2020 (Week 28) was 8,690, this was 450 deaths fewer than Week 27.”
  • “In Week 28, the number of deaths registered was 6.1% below the five-year average (560 deaths fewer), this is the fourth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average; the number of deaths in care homes, hospitals and other communal establishments were also fewer than the five-year average, while the number of deaths in private homes was 706 deaths higher than the five-year average.
  • Of the deaths registered in Week 28, 366 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 16 weeks and a 31.2% decrease compared with Week 27 (532 deaths), accounting for 4.2% 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 10 July 2020 was 353,407, which is 53,419 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 10 July 2020, 50,946 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate; 14.4% of all deaths in England and Wales.
  • “The number of deaths for England was 332,006, which is 51,695 (18.4%) more than the five-year average. Of these, 48,388 deaths (14.6%) 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.

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: 2,103 daily new cases (this is higher than last week)
  • COVID Symptom Study app prevalence: 28,257 symptomatic COVID (for the second week running this is higher than the week before, to the point it is considerably higher than the estimate of 23,459 two weeks ago. However, the number is down from over 350,000 people on 23 of April, and over 100,000 last month).

You will notice that the two different methods give quite similar results – 1,700-2,100 new daily cases, and 24,000-28,000 symptomatic cases. 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). 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

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) publish government data from “Hospital Acute Trusts data in England from major emergency departments that provide a consultant-led 24-hour service (a type 1 A&E)” with regard to admissions for Covid-19, up to 13th July (it’s not clear why so little new data has been added since last week which went up to the 10th July). This data used to form part of the daily Cabinet Office coronavirus briefings. On the 13th July there were 52 hospital admissions – compared to a peak of 3,099 on the 31st March, and 148 on the 6th July (ie, the previous week).

Source: CEBM

At the global level

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

  • Nearly 15 million confirmed cases (14,960,136) – an increase of over 1.6 million cases during the week (1,636,606, the fifth week in a row with over 1 million cases confirmed, and with the number of cases confirmed each week continuing to rise).
  • 12.3% of global confirmed cases were confirmed in the past week (this percentage increase is at least falling slowly).
  • Over 600,000 people have now died – 616,769.
  • 38,141 people died in the past week (around 4,000 more than the number who died in the previous week). In other words, 6.6% of people who died with the virus, died in the last week.
  • 19 countries have over 200,000 cases (Colombia and Bangladesh join the list), and three now have over 1 million confirmed cases:
    • The USA – 3,902,135 cases, a weekly increase of 470,561 (13.7% – a higher number of cases than last week)
    • Brazil – 2,159,654 cases, a weekly increase of 232,830 (12.1% – a lower number and percentage than the previous week for two weeks running)
    • India – 1,193,078 – a weekly increase of 256,897 (27.4% – higher than last week)
    • Russia – 787,846, a weekly increase of 49,059 (6.6% – a higher increase than the previous two weeks, after a dip)
    • Peru – 362,087, increase of 28,220 (8.5% – higher than last week)
    • Mexico – 356,255, increase of 44,769 (14.4% more confirmed cases but a slightly lower percentage increase than last week for the second week running)
    • Chile – 334,683, increase of 15,190 (4.8% – lower than last week for the second week in a row)
    • The UK – 297,389 cases, increase of 4,458 (1.5%). This is a lower increase in numerical and percentage terms than last week – but higher than the week before. In other words, there is still a broadly static rather than downward trend.
    • Iran – 278,827 cases – a weekly increase of 16,654 (6.4% – a very similar increase to last week)
    • Pakistan – 267,428, increase of 11,659 (4.6%, lower than last week for the second week in a row, potentially a sign the virus is coming under control in the country)
    • Spain – 266,194, increase of 9,575 (3.7% – a considerable increase for the second week in a row. Confirmed cases have been increasing for 6 weeks in a row, after having been brought down very low before this)
    • Saudi Arabia – 255,825, increase of 18,022 (7.6% – lower than last week for at least the second week in a row)
    • Italy – 244,752 cases – a weekly increase of 1,408 (0.6% – very similar to last week)
    • Turkey – 221,500, increase of 6,507 (3.0% – lower than last week for the second week running)
    • France – 214,607, increase of 4,967 (2.4% – higher than any of the previous three weeks)
    • Colombia – 211,038, increase of 56,761 (36.8% – accelerating very quickly)
    • Bangladesh – 210,510, increased of 20,453 (10.8 – slightly higher than last week)
  • There are eleven countries where over 10,000 people have died where Covid-19 was involved (no new countries have passed that grim threshold this week):
    • The USA – 142,068 people have died (5,602 people died in the past week, a 4.1% increase. This is a higher number and rate of increase to last week. There is little sign the virus is under control in the USA)
    • Brazil – 81,487 (7,354, 9.9% – similar to last week)
    • The UK – 45,507 (454 people died in the past week, a 1% increase, again slightly lower than the previous week)
    • Mexico – 40,400 (4,073, 11.2% – lower than in the last two weeks)
    • Italy – 35,073 (89, 0.3% – very similar to last week)
    • France – 30,168 (136, 0.5% – higher than last week)
    • India – 28,732 (4,423 – 18.2% – higher than last week)
    • Spain – 28,424 (15 – 0.1% – lower than last week)
    • Iran – 14,634 (1,423 – 10.8% – more than last week)
    • Peru – 13,579 (1,350, 11.0% – similar to last week)
    • Russia – 12,722 (1,125, 9.7% – higher than last 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), 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

Our condolences

The idea behind this summary of statistics is to help people to understand the pandemic and to reduce the spread of the virus. We know that the blunt representation of numbers can prompt feelings of grief and pain, even while they cannot convey the individuality of the people affected or the emotional toll caused to their loved ones. We send our condolences to all affected.

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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