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Coronavirus: Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 107037, tabled on 21 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the (a) latest and (c) most accurate estimates of the proportion of the population that has covid-19 infection as at 21 October 2020; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the methodology used on differing estimates on covid-19 infection.

Answered on

2 February 2021

The proportion of the population that are infected with the COVID-19 virus is measured through a number of surveillance studies including the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) and the REACT-1 real-time assessment of community transmission of coronavirus study. Both studies provide an estimate of people with COVID-19 infection in the community at a given time – those with symptoms and those without.

Estimates of the population in England that were infected with the COVID-19 virus in October 2020 are as follows:

- CIS - 1.42% (25 October to 31 October); and

- REACT-1 1.28% (16 October – 25 October)