COVID cases rocket to new high

March 18, 2022

This article has not been updated recently

According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, in total there are 258,155 currently new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average. A massive increase of 47% from 175,189 reported last week (Graph 1).

The UK R-value is estimated to be around 1.2 and regional R values are; England, 1.2, Wales, 1.2, Scotland, 1.1. 

In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 24 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. In the regions, England, 1 in 25. Wales, 1 in 33. Scotland, 1 in 21. 

New daily symptomatic cases have bounced back and are rising in all regions of England (Graph 2) and the UK (Graph 3).

New cases are also rising across all the age groups, with worryingly high increases in the older, more vulnerable age groups (Graph 4).

The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from around 840,000 weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 54,409 recent swab tests done on symptomatic cases in the two weeks up to 14 March 2022. 

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, comments on the latest data:
“COVID cases are now at the highest levels the ZOE COVID Study has ever recorded. Even more concerning is the rise in new cases in people aged over 75. This vulnerable group have had low case numbers for months. We will need to wait a few weeks to see the full impact on increased hospitalisation but numbers have already started to rise. The data shows this pandemic is definitely not over yet and is more unpredictable than ever, despite government messages to the contrary and a lack of public health advice. The ZOE COVID Study, with its 700,000 strong contributor base, remains the best tool the UK has in detecting and spotting new waves of infections. Although our funding from the UKHSA will stop in just a few weeks, ZOE will continue to track and monitor COVID-19 for the safety and security of the UK.”

Graph 1. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures total number of daily new cases over time.

Graph 2. Incidence rate by regions England 

Graph 3. Incidence rate in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Graph 4. Incidence by age group 

Map of UK prevalence figures

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