Tens of thousands of UK COVID-19 cases missed from daily figures
FILE PIC: A lady receiving coronavirus vaccination in the UK. /AP

FILE PIC: A lady receiving coronavirus vaccination in the UK. /AP

According to the latest analysis, tens of thousands of new cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom are not being included in the official daily figures.

An average of 114,600 new cases were recorded daily in the week to December 23, according to the Government's COVID-19 dashboard.

But the true figure might have been more than three times that number, according to new estimates published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This implies that, more than one and a half million new cases of coronavirus could have been missed from the official figures in the week before Christmas.

High levels of underreporting will still be affecting the Government's daily figures, meaning the current volume of cases in the Kingdom is unclear.

The ONS has published the data as part of its weekly infection survey, which estimates both the overall prevalence of the virus across the country and the number of new cases.

All estimates are based on analysis of nose and throat swabs taken from a representative sample of more than 150,000 people in private households.

They show there were an estimated 357,600 new cases of COVID-19 each day in the week to December 23, more than three times the 114,600 recorded on the Government’s dashboard.

And in the seven days to December 17, the ONS estimated 221,200 new cases in the UK – nearly three times the number on the dashboard, which was 80,400.

The huge difference in totals shows just how many new cases of COVID-19 are likely being missed in the Government's daily figures, which count only those people who have reported themselves as having tested positive for the virus.

This means the figures are affected by factors such as how many people are coming forward for tests, have chosen to report their test results, or who are taking a test because they know they have coronavirus symptoms.

(With input from agencies)

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