England’s coronavirus death toll could reach up to 422 on 5 November, a report has suggested.
Nations throughout Europe are in a dreaded second wave of the infection, prompting French president Emmanuel Macron to announce a second national lockdown until at least the end of November.
The UK government is resisting the extreme measure, despite Imperial College London scientists estimating nearly 100,000 people are catching the coronavirus every day in England alone.
The number of new daily cases is somewhat muddled, however, with a team from the University of Cambridge reporting 55,600 new infections are likely occurring a day in England.
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With hospitalisations and deaths inevitably following a surge in cases, the Cambridge scientists predict between 237 and 422 people will die with the coronavirus on 5 November, just one week away.
On 28 October, 24,701 people tested positive for the infection in the UK, with 310 patients dying within 28 days of a swab.
The number of new coronavirus cases cannot be determined with absolute certainty.
Some patients do not develop the infection’s tell-tale fever, cough or loss of taste or smell, and therefore do not know to get swabbed.
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This is particularly true among young people and children, who may unwittingly spread the infection, not knowing to isolate.
Delays to test results may also mean people who could have been exposed to the coronavirus continue to mix with others.
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To better understand England’s daily rate of new infections, the Cambridge scientists analysed a range of data sources, including Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics.
Writing in the report COVID-19: Nowcast And Forecast, the team found the North West and North East are likely the worst affected regions, with a predicted 17,600 new infections a day. Yorkshire comes in second, with an estimated 14,800 new cases every 24 hours.
“Note a substantial proportion of these daily infections will be asymptomatic,” wrote the scientists.
The virus’ reproduction number, or R, is said to be above one across the country. The scientists predict this with “100% probability” in all regions apart from London.
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The R number is the number of people a coronavirus patient is expected to pass the virus on to. When R is above one, an outbreak grows.
The scientists predicted R exceeds one in London with 67% probability. The capital city has the highest “attack rate”, however, defined as the proportion of people who have ever been infected, at