Coronavirus not an epidemic in UK as only 0.24 pct of adults infected: Oxford experts

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COVID-19 cannot be classified as an epidemic in Britain as new figures suggest only 0.24 percent of UK adults – or around 136,000 people – have the coronavirus, according to Oxford University scientists analyzing the data.

“The current community transmission of COVID is low and not at epidemic levels. The rates are less than that of confirmed cases in the UK,” Oxford University experts Carl Heneghan said in their Tom Jefferson assessment of current figures.

According to the experts, an epidemic is declared if the rate of consultations for influenza-like symptoms in a sample of reporting by general practice exceeds 40 per 10,000 population in one week. New estimate places that rate between three and 23 in 10,000 in the UK.

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The analysis from Oxford comes as people living in England were given more freedom to leave their homes from Wednesday and to go to work if necessary, in the first stage of an easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

The pandemic has killed more than 36,000 people in Britain, according to official statistics, and despite a fall in deaths and hospitalizations, officials are still concerned, particularly by the death rates in care homes.

(With inputs from AFP)

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