UK ditches daily COVID figures and moves to twice a week updates

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LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: A woman wears a face mask while walking on Oxford Street on April 01, 2022 in London, England. From today, guidance on voluntary COVID-status certification in domestic settings and the use of the NHS Covid Pass plus requirements for employers to consider COVID-19 in health and safety risk assessments is removed. Free universal symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public is no longer provided with Lateral Flow Tests now available to purchase on the High Street. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The government is to reduce its updates on its COVID-19 dashboard. (Getty Images)

The government has scrapped its daily COVID updates and said coronavirus figures will only be published on the government's dashboard twice a week.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced this week that the dashboard will only update coronavirus figures every Monday and Thursday from now on.

The dashboard stopped publishing weekend figures in February and moved to reporting cases on a Monday that covered the previous three days.

In a tweet on Monday, the UK Health Security Agency said: "Reporting #COVID19 stats is changing within the UK.

"From today, the COVID-19 dashboard will update UK figures every Monday and Thursday."

(UKHSA)
(UKHSA)

The UK-wide move was forced by the decision of health officials in Scotland to only publish its figures every Monday and Thursday from this week, before moving to weekly updates in June.

Because Wales only publishes its vaccine data on a Monday, UK vaccine figures on the dashboard will only be updated weekly on the same day.

However, data for England will continue to be published daily, including testing, cases, hospital admissions, vaccinations and deaths.

Clare Griffiths, head of the COVID-19 dashboard, said: “As we move forward in the pandemic, changes to reporting across the four nations means COVID-19 metrics will be updated on different dates and schedules.

"Variations in reporting schedules should be considered when looking at reported COVID-19 figures and day-to-day comparisons may therefore be misleading.”

According to the latest update, there were 26,280 coronavirus cases reported in the UK on Monday, covering the previous three days. There were 212 deaths from COVID-19 in the three-day period.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Commuters are seen in Waterloo station on February 23, 2022 in London, England. Transport for London, the government body responsible for most of the transport network in the capital, announced that, from tomorrow, it will not require passengers to wear face coverings as a condition of carriage on buses and in the Tube. England is dropping all remaining legal requirements related to Covid-19 as of tomorrow. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Commuters wear face masks while walking through Waterloo Station in London. (Getty Images)

Since 31 January, daily cases have included reinfections across the UK.

The nation now relies on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for a more accurate picture of its COVID-19 cases.

Last week, the ONS said about one in 33 people in the UK are thought to be infected.

It said about 1.9m people tested positive in the week ending 30 April, more than 923,000 fewer than the previous seven-day period.

It was the biggest weekly reduction in infections since the ONS began its COVID survey in July 2020.

The number of COVID tests has fallen recently, with 201,062 reported on Monday, a fall from 432,025 a month earlier.

Free lateral flow tests were no longer generally available in England from the beginning of April. They can now be purchased privately but the results cannot be reported on the government website.

More than 176,000 people have died in the UK from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

On Monday, a new study suggested that fourth Covid jabs give people protection “over and above” that afforded to people who have had three jabs.

Research is continuing to assess the levels of protection people have after vaccination, and for the length of time that this protection lasts.

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