NIESR Covid-19 Tracker: Reproduction Number (R) and Forecasts of New Cases: Signs of peaking
Signs of peaking
- We comment on the Delta variant wave that has emerged throughout the UK. Focussing on the North West where this wave emerged first can be revealing as to how the wave is likely to advance in other regions of the UK that saw later outbreaks.
- Figure 1 provides R number estimates and the case rates per 100,000 population, for the nations of the UK and English regions, based on specimen date data series released on 13th July 2021. We discard data for the last 3 days due to data revisions in that time window. These estimates are to be read in the context of the policy of increased testing in local authorities with relatively high case rates.
- We should expect regional and national level incidence patterns to reflect an aggregation of a succession of local surges that spill over geographically even as they are contained through vaccination. As the unvaccinated proportion of the adult population diminishes the incipient wave is more likely to be contained.
- Figure 3 shows that in the North West the peak in cases is likely to occur early in August. Many local authorities are now past their peaks.
- A similar pattern is likely to emerge in regions that lag the North West in terms of the timing of initial rises in Delta variant cases.
- We forecast hospital admissions for the whole of UK to rise to around 1200 by the 19th July, up from 300 two weeks ago.
“The North West is now showing strong signs of approaching the peak in cases, with many local authorities already past their peaks. Similar patterns are likely to emerge nationwide albeit with a time lag."
Dr Craig Thamotheram
Senior Economist - Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting