It can be difficult to get a clear impression of the development of the COVID-19 pandemic across the UK. We’ve brought together several of the key resources here to help you follow events as they unfold. These are external resources: Keep Our NHS Public does not provide its own monitoring of COVID-19.
Valuable and easily readable resources to get a sense of the headline figures of the pandemic in the UK can be found on the World Health Organisation website, as well as on the website of the Covid Symptom Survey project. For further analysis of the pandemic and of the policy responses that are required to effectively stop it, we recommend the regular briefings of the Independent SAGE group. The Financial Times is also publishing data about the pandemic at a global level.
World Health Organisation
The United Kingdom’s page on the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 database features updated figures of numbers of cases and numbers of deaths, with charts showing how these have progressed over time.
King’s College Symptom Survey
Another accessible source of headline figures is the rolling Covid Symptom Study data being collated online by researchers at King’s College, London. This is based on information collected from 4 million users of a symptom-tracking app. The app was developed by health tech company Zoe with funding from UK government grants, and has been promoted by NHS Wales and NHS Scotland, though it tracks data across the UK.
Please note: Our use of these data sets for purposes of analysis does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the app or a recommendation to download it.
The Covid Symptom Study app is also not to be confused with the NHS Covid-19 app, which is a different endeavor with a different purpose.
Independent SAGE is a group of scientists working to provide regular and accessible information on the development of the Covid-19 pandemic. The group was established as an independent counterpart to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) group, amid concerns over a lack of transparency, and potential political interference, affecting SAGE’s workings.
There is a weekly Independent SAGE video briefing at 11:30am on Fridays, which gives a valuable insight into the development of the pandemic, including case numbers and patterns. These videos are collated on the group’s YouTube channel.
Another useful document from Independent SAGE is their 4-page briefing, “A deliberate 'population immunity' strategy before a vaccine: Why it wouldn’t work and why it shouldn’t be tried”. This explains why it would be both ethically unacceptable, and unviable in practice, to pursue a strategy in the UK of allowing Covid-19 to be transmitted until “herd immunity” is achieved.
Financial Times data
The financial times is running a free and regularly updated webpage keeping track of Covid-19 globally. This data includes figures for overall excess deaths – deaths over and above the average figure based on comparable previous years – which means that it may give a fuller picture of how many deaths are being caused by the expanded knock-on effects of Covid-19, such as economic fallout and pressure on healthcare systems.
This data is global but often prominently features the UK situation.