Office for national statistics

Why there is more Omicron than we know

Yesterday the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced it had identified another 26 Omicron cases, and the total number of cases in the UK had reached 160. The rate of increase from zero in little over a week seems significant. But the one thing we know is these official figures are a significant underestimate of how many cases are actually in the UK. Here’s why. Omicron is already with us in much greater size than we know. There will already be significant transmission within communities. First, you will recall that last week I reported UKHSA’s statement to me that only 50 per cent of pillar 2 or community testing can

Isolation stats delayed as statisticians forced to isolate

A spectre is haunting Britain: the spectre of the ‘pingdemic.’ With Covid cases on the uptick, it is no surprise that more than 500,000 people in England and Wales were ‘pinged’ by the NHS test and trace app in the week to 7 July, up 46 per cent on the previous week.  Iceland and Greene King are among the latest businesses forced to close sites as workers are told to self-isolate. The Metropolitan Line in London was forced to shut over the weekend due to enforced absences while the Nissan factory in Sunderland has sent home more than 900 staff – more than 10 per cent of its workforce. Now it seems not even the