Oxford University scientists have concluded that coronavirus infections are not currently at epidemic levels.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), found that only 0.24% of the population in England had tested positive for the virus.
A total of 7,087 swab tests were collected for an infection survey.
The survey was carried out between the ONS, and Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.
The tests took place between 26 April and 8 May.
It was calculated from the research that 136,000 people were currently infected with Covid-19.
Yet the ONS stress that these results are early estimates only.
Professors Say Coronavirus Infection is Low
Oxford University professors Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson, said the data highlighted that current Covid-19 transmission is low.
Therefore is not currently at epidemic levels.
Yet the academics warned that the ONS figures disclosed more positive infections, than has been picked up by testing.
Prof Heneghan is concerned that fewer than 4,000 people per day are testing positive.
He questioned why more cases are not coming forward, and that there may be many asymptomatic cases.
Survey of 10,000 Households
The ONS have said that they are conducting initially a pilot survey, which will include 10,000 households in England.
This is in collaboration with University of Oxford, IQVIA and the UK Biocentre Milton Keynes.
Its a survey which is ongoing.
All of those living in the households over the age of two, will be invited to be tested for Covid-19.
In total, 25,000 respondents will be involved in the study.
After this pilot survey, the size of the sample will be expanded.
And then rolled across all four UK countries.
The aim of this study is to find out many people have coronavirus at a given point in time.
Also, how many new cases have occurred in a given time period.
Plus how many people are ever likely to have had the infection.
All of the combined data will enable more accurate estimates of the rates of transmission.
Or the “R” rate, as it is termed.