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COVID-19: UK could be ‘past the pandemic’ expert says as data estimates one in 40,000 symptomatic cases

Written by on 30 April 2021

Just one in 40,000 symptomatic cases of coronavirus is being recorded in the UK, suggesting the country is past the pandemic, new data suggests.

Professor Tim Spector, who runs the ZOE COVID symptom app which has been downloaded by some 4.5 million Britons, says people can feel optimistic and more relaxed by the findings.

“We have one of the lowest rates in Europe,” he said, adding it is “still dropping slowly at around 10% over the last week”.

He said new data from the app shows that “the average risk for someone of having symptomatic COVID is really low at the moment – we’re estimating as low as one in 40,000”.

There is “absolutely” good reason to feel optimistic, he said.

He continued: “It looks like at the moment we’re past that pandemic period and we’re moving into what we call the endemic period, where we get low levels of infection and occasional outbreaks that don’t spread to the rest of the population and the general risk is low.”

Prof Spector, who works in genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said there are regional variations and that parts of the country, such as areas in the East of England and the South West, have hardly any cases.

He added that people in those regions, especially those who have been vaccinated, should be “much more relaxed and less stressed out” about going out.

“For me this is a very reassuring picture and we should be a bit more upbeat about it,” he said.

Formerly known as the COVID Symptom Tracker, the app, which runs on Android and iOS, was developed in the UK and is a collaboration between King’s College London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and ZOE Global Limited.

Its purpose is to track symptoms and other salient data in a large number of people to enable epidemiological results to be calculated.

The latest findings come as the UK’s coronavirus cases and deaths steadily continue to fall, with 22 deaths recorded on Thursday, taking the UK’s overall number of deaths to 127,502.

Meanwhile, another 2,445 COVID cases were logged on Thursday as more than 34 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine – and 14 million have had both jabs.