All through the pandemic UKSHA has revealed over 100 weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports.
These reviews present an necessary image of the pandemic by detailing numbers of confirmed circumstances, outbreaks, hospitalisations and deaths – the place doable damaged down by elements together with age, gender, area and setting.
As we be taught to reside with COVID-19, and as outlined within the authorities’s Living with COVID-19 plan, the virus will probably be now managed very similar to different respiratory infections, akin to flu. Which means that we’ll take a look at, monitor and report on the virus in a method that’s nearer to what we accomplish that for different infectious illnesses.
Changes to how we carry out and support COVID-19 testing imply that ‘Pillar 2’ testing knowledge, which incorporates group LFD and PCR testing of each symptomatic and asymptomatic circumstances, will not present the identical quantity of information; it’ll subsequently not be the important thing element of our weekly reviews, which will probably be dominated by ‘Pillar 1’ take a look at outcomes from the NHS.
In fact, testing stays in place for sure high-risk teams akin to sufferers in NHS hospitals, these eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and different remedies and workers working within the NHS and grownup social care.
This knowledge has fashioned the idea of ‘Pillar 1’ testing all through the pandemic. Specializing in these take a look at outcomes will allow us to proceed to observe and defend these most vulnerable to hospitalisation, extreme illness and doubtlessly loss of life. Pillar 1 knowledge may also proceed to assist genomic surveillance which helps monitor the evolution of the virus.
Nevertheless, group testing knowledge will proceed to be revealed alongside this key knowledge and can present a helpful wider context as we monitor the general affect of COVID-19.
The RCGP sentinel swabbing scheme will proceed to offer an necessary indicator for COVID-19 circumstances and positivity locally. By sampling over 200 GP practices, the scheme gives a positivity price which displays week by week, by age and by area to see if the proportion of individuals with COVID-19 will increase.
Actual-time syndromic surveillance is used each day by well being professionals to search for altering developments which point out increased ranges of sickness within the inhabitants. This surveillance methodology collects and analyses anonymised well being knowledge from throughout England – monitoring signs introduced by sufferers reasonably than laboratory checks for specific infections.
All of our surveillance methodologies are chosen in order that knowledge may be measured commonly and persistently over the long run. No single supply of information tells the entire story of illness exercise, nor can any system present a definitive determine for precisely how many individuals might have a illness akin to COVID-19.
However as we be taught to reside with COVID-19 our surveillance will proceed to offer a robust understanding of COVID-19 exercise and provides useful insights to tell public well being motion and well being companies.