Number of Brits with coronavirus symptoms drops by 75 percent since the start of April according to data-app – The Sun

THE number of Britons showing coronavirus symptoms has dropped by 75 percent since the beginning of April, according to a data-tracking app.

Latest analysis from the King's College COVID Symptom Tracker app estimates that there are now around 462,000 people with symptoms of the virus – down from 1.9million on April 1.

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The results seem to show that the lockdown is working as less people have reported showing signs of COVID-19 in the past few weeks.

Developed by researchers at King's College London and company ZOE, the data-tracking app is helping predict the scale of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

SYMPTOMS

Anyone – including healthy people, those who think they might have Covid-19 and those who have been diagnosed with the virus – can download the app and fill out some forms which describe their health and ask about possible coronavirus symptoms.

The first set of data was released on March 26 and suggested that around one in 10 people were ill with, or had already had, COVID-19.

The team have used data from people who have logged in for seven days in a row to draw a picture of the entire UK population.

Since March 23 – when the lockdown was announced – the symptom tracker has shown the number of cases falling.


On April 1, there were 1.9million cases in the UK, according to mathematical modelling based on the data, and 1.4million on April 8.

Between April 8 and April 16, cases fell to 582,640 and reached a record low of 462,700 today.

Researchers have also highlighted two new "hotspots" of the virus – Blackpool and Barrow-in-Furness.

By region, the north west has the highest percentage of symptomatic people, at 1.61 percent, followed by London with 1.58 percent.

LOCKDOWN

Lead researcher Professor Tim Spector said although the steady decline in cases is "very reassuring", the number of deaths is still high.

He said: "This is definitely not the time for complacency."

The lockdown has been extended for three more weeks – until May 7.

Professor Spector said he is against the lifting of restrictions in the coming weeks, as this would have a negative impact on the number of cases.

He said: "What the data tell us is that there is still a large number of infectious people in the UK with mild symptoms, so to quickly lift the lockdown would not be appropriate.

"We are working closely with NHS Wales and NHS Scotland to explore how the app can be used to speed up and guide the lockdown lift.

"It can work as an early alert, before hospital testing, flagging up any particular spikes in new symptom cases."

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About 2.3million people in the UK have used the app so far, but the data collected by researchers becomes more accurate as more people sign up.

The research team at King's College London previously found out that loss of smell or taste is a common symptom of Covid-19.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK today increased to 124,743 after 4,676 more people tested positive for COVID-19.

More than 500,000 tests have been carried out in Britain with 19,316 taking place yesterday.

The current death toll in the UK stands at 16,509.

During tonight's press conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak addressed the current personal protective equipment shortage which the government has been criticised on.

He said the government is working hard to get the appropriate PPE that NHS staff need to protect themselves from contracting the virus – adding that medics "deserve to have the equipment they need to do their job safely."




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