UK Covid modelling data to stop being published
Coronavirus modelling data will stop being published in early January, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says. Statistics covering the growth rate of the virus are currently released fortnightly, but the agency says this is no longer necessary.
Chief data scientist Dr Nick Watkins said this is due to the UK living with Covid-19 because of vaccines and therapeutics. Covid will continue to be monitored in other ways, the agency added.
The reproductive rate – known as the R rate – refers to the number of people an infected person will pass the virus onto. At the height of the pandemic both the R rate and growth rate for England were published weekly.
Since April this year it has been published fortnightly. Dr Watkins said it served as a useful and simple indicator to inform public health action and government decisions.
“Vaccines and therapeutics have allowed us to move to a phase where we are living with Covid-19,” Dr Watkins said. We continue to monitor Covid-19 activity in a similar way to how we monitor a number of other common illnesses and diseases.
“All data publications are kept under constant review and this modelling data can be reintroduced promptly if needed, for example, if a new variant of concern was to be identified.
All remaining Covid restrictions, including the legal requirement to self-isolate at home with symptoms, were removed earlier this year.
However, health officials have urged those with signs of respiratory illness should avoid mixing during the festive season, particularly with vulnerable people.
In other news – Canadian rapper, Tory Lanez found guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion
The Canadian rapper, Daystar Peterson known as Tory Lanez, was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury on Friday of shooting fellow artist Megan Thee Stallion in both of her feet after an argument in 2020, prosecutors said. Learn more