Professor Tim Spector from King’s College London says the risk of symptomatic Covid has fallen to around one in 40,000 with ONS revealing one in 1,000 people in the UK have COVID-19. The promising news from the professor means the UK is, in his eyes, moving to an endemic period where the occasional breakout may occur but will not affect the whole of the country. Prof Spector added that those living in the south and east of England should be “much more relaxed” as some regions are seeing zero covid cases emerge.
Speaking to Sky News, Prof Spector said: “We have one of the lowest rates in Europe at the moment and it still dropping slowly at around 10 percent over the last week.
“So it’s showing the average risk for someone having symptomatic Covid is really low at the moment.
“We’re estimating it’s as low as one in 40,000.”
The epidemiologist was then asked if the news should lead to optimism and celebration in the UK.
He replied: “Absolutely, it looks like at the moment we are past that pandemic area and we’re moving into what we call the endemic period.
“Where we see low levels of infection and occasional outbreaks but they don’t spread to the rest of the population and the general risk is low.
“And what you have got to realise is that within these low numbers there are differences between regions.”
The King’s College academic explained some areas see the risk as four times higher but others may see an extremely low risk.
The ONS revealed one in 1,000 people currently have coronavirus with SAGE stating the R rate in the UK is between 0.8-1.1
The R rate monitors the transmissibility of the virus and any figure above one means more people are being infected.
Consequentially, anything lower means the cases are falling.
While some regions are seeing an R rate of above one the UK generally is seeing a strong reduction in cases which the ONS says mirrors last summer’s figures.
SAGE admitted that many areas were unlikely to have a higher R rate but could not rule it out due to lack of data.