NEW: I’ve updated the chart of new cases in England & Wales to show two critical parts of the story:
• Differentiating between places with an isolated cluster (Swindon’s Iceland depot) vs community spread
• Showing where Leicester was when it locked down ft.com/content/a2dbf1…
So far, the overall picture is of a slow and abortive recovery.
Total consumer spending was down year-on-year by almost 40% as the lockdown bit. It has recovered half of that loss, but has been stuck at around -20% y-o-y for weeks with no sign of a renewed rebound.
We see a similar picture in retail footfall, where the reopening of non-essential shops on June 15 sparked a sharp uptick, but since then progress has been minimal.
Visits to shops are still -40% year-on-year, well below what we see in peer countries like Sweden & Italy.
1) Standard contact tracing moves *forward* from the positive case, asking who they have come into contact with *since they got the virus*, seeking to find out who they could have passed it onto, so those people can be isolated.
2) Backward tracing is the other way around: it starts with the positive case and works *backwards*, seeking to find out who could have infected *them*.
This is key with a virus like Covid-19 where most people don’t infect anyone else, but a few people infect *lots* of people.
As part of the update process, total UK-wide cases have fallen by around 30,000 and now stand at 283,757.
This was anticipated, as we knew (thanks to @BBCMoreOrLess) that there was a double-counting issue with the testing data, and those duplicates have now gone.
Happily, rather than just subtracting 30k tonight and leaving the old data unchanged, the full time series has been revised, so we now appear to have consistent data on cases by specimen date right back to February (for the UK, England, and English subnational areas).
The new English data is cases-per-100,000 people during the week ending June 21.
Leicester’s new outbreak makes it the clear hotspot in England, though Merthyr Tydfil is currently recording the most new infections in the wider UK due to the outbreak at its meatpacking plant.
More broadly, some patterns are visible:
• Most areas with high new infections are in Yorkshire or the north & midlands of England
• Wales is counting the cost of 3 meatpacking plant outbreaks
• Northern Ireland and particularly Scotland are seeing very low infection rates
There’s a lot of concern about an uptick in infections in Leicester over the last few days, with the city now going back into lockdown, but here’s what you see if you look at the government’s published data on new cases in Leicester coronavirus.data.gov.uk
What new outbreak?
But the govt is sitting on a much more complete dataset including pillar 2, which tells a completely different story
More than 90% of new cases in Leicester are now under pillar 2, yet these numbers are not public. If you’re a local biz owner in Leicester, you only see the blue.
1) Most of the numbers we hear on Covid & BAME groups refer to death rates — Covid deaths divided by population — but it’s more useful to think about Covid & minorities in two steps:
• Infection rate (exposure to the virus)
• Case fatality rate (death rate among those infected)
2) There have been many studies on deaths/population rates, but fewer on infection (exposure) rates.
But a recent @QMUL study found that among 1.3m people across four London CCGs, black and South Asian people were much more likely than white people to get infected with Covid.
It was March 11 when we put out our first Covid-19 trajectory chart, which highlighted:
• UK already on same course as Italy w/ confirmed cases doubling every ~3 days
• UK trailing Italy by more like 2 weeks, not 4 as stated by Vallance the next day
• The data was right here