Nearly 450,000 people in England have COVID-19, ONS survey suggests
It means one in 130 people in the country are likely to have the virus
Study estimates more than 35,000 people were being infected every day between 10 and 16 October
Nearly 450,000 people in England were infected with coronavirus at any one time last week, a major study has found.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey, released on Friday, suggested there were 433,300 people with COVID-19 between between 10 and 16 October, the latest dates for which data is available.
This was up from 336,500 people estimated to have COVID the week before.
The new figures mean about one in 130 people in the country are now thought to be infected.
The survey, which tests thousands of people in English homes whether they have symptoms or not, found an estimated 35,200 people were being infected every day between 10 and 16 October.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, unveiled separate data on Thursday suggesting up to 90,000 people a day are being infected with COVID.
The ONS estimates of 35,200 infections a day means there could be more than double the number of new cases in the community compared to those being captured by daily Department of Health data on lab-confirmed tests – though these are UK-wide as opposed to just England.
This official government data had the seven-day UK average of new infections at 16,225 on 16 October, which was the cut-off point for the new ONS data.
Watch: Highlights from government’s latest COVID press conference
It came as a government minister refused to be drawn on the chances of a “normal Christmas” amid the continued spread of COVID and three-tier local lockdown rules that were imposed last week as a result of this.
Chief secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday: “I would describe it as a shared endeavour for all of us.
“All of us wants to be able to enjoy Christmas with our families. And that’s why there is a common purpose here to get the virus down.”
Meanwhile, separate ONS data, also released on Friday, found the death rate for COVID patients has increased in England for the time since the peak of the outbreak in April.
Figures showed that the age-standardised mortality rate in September due to the virus was 12.6 per 100,000 people in England. This was up from 7.2 per 100,000 in August and is the first increase since April, the ONS said.
Watch: Can you catch coronavirus twice?