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Surrey’s Covid Infection Figures Drop For Second Week, Backing PM’s Past Peak Claim

Published on: 5 May, 2020
Updated on: 5 May, 2020

The number of confirmed Covid-19 infections reported in Surrey has fallen sharply for the second week in a row. For the week ending May 3, 245 cases were reported compared with 607 for the seven-day period ending April 19.

But there are thought to be many more not measured because symptoms are mild or non-detected, although the statistics give a snapshot of the infection rate in the county and seem to back Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s claim that nationally we are past the infection peak.

With more people being tested, results from the new testing centres might show a rise over the next period but this will not necessarily mean the infection rate trend has changed.

What is not reported in the figures is the “R rate”, the estimate of the number of times each infected person passes on the virus to another person. This “R” figure needs to be below one, ie each infected person infects, on average, fewer than one other, before the government will feel able to relax the lockdown.

The number of Covid-related deaths at the Royal Surrey hospital has also fallen sharply this week to 10 from 21 the week before, but it could be too soon to say if this is a trend. Covid death statistical trends have been said to trail those for infection by two or three weeks but the infection figures for Guildford and Waverley boroughs, most of the RSCH catchment area, are not reported separately.

Source NHS England – may be subject to correction

Questions have been asked about the disparity of Covid-associated death figures between the various Surrey hospitals. One obvious factor is hospital size, but other influencing factors are population density, levels of affluence and other demographics. Additionally, it is understood that at some stages Coronavirus cases were transferred from London to Surrey hospitals.

Table showing the total deaths recorded at Surrey Hospitals and, for comparison, some of the nearby hospitals in neighbouring counties and authorities. The Royal Surrey in Guildford has seen the fewest deaths in Surrey. It is generally agreed that other deaths in care homes and in the community represent a significant additional number.

Unsurprisingly, the distance from London does seem to be a factor in the levels of infection and, one would expect, mortality.

Local statistics for Covid-19 infections can be found on a dedicated page of The Guildford Dragon NEWS and are updated daily.

We hope to interview Louise Stead, CEO at the RSCH, again on Thursday (May 7) for her update of the situation at Guildford’s local hospital trust.

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Responses to Surrey’s Covid Infection Figures Drop For Second Week, Backing PM’s Past Peak Claim

  1. Gordon Bridger Reply

    May 6, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Congratulations on a very impressive professional assessment. Without knowing infection rates it is not possible to assess real incidence.

    Trends can be helpful if consistent but all respiratory deaths have since mid-February been classified as Corona. Perhaps the best indicator is fatalities to populations – and this seems to be well under 1 per cent. The excellent BBC programme “More or Less “closer to 0.05% ”

    It would be interesting to know the age of fatalities and whether they had other complicating problems.

    It seems to me that the government should be allowing those under 60 to go to work, and keep the economy going. Unless most get back to work soon we can say goodbye, after seven decades, to continued economic growth for many years to come.

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