Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
14 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Evening summary: Number of infections could be seven times official figures

By Samuel Horti

Today, the results of an Office for National Statistics (ONS) testing programme suggested there are nearly seven times as many coronavirus infections in England than recorded in official government statistics. One in 400 people could have the disease, according to the programme, which is testing a random sample of UK households. The Coronavirus Infection Survey for England will increase in scope in the coming weeks and months, giving us an ever-clearer picture of the true infection count.

Those hoping for a summer break on the continent were given some hope today from Margrethe Vestager, vice president of the European Commission, who suggested Britons should be able to safely holiday in Europe in the coming months. “We really need a break from this. Can we go as we planned, or will we have to stay within the borders of our home country? We think that it can be done safely,” she told the BBC.

Meanwhile, transport services in London are on the brink of collapse, and Sadiq Khan has warned that if the government does not agree to bail out Transport for London by the end of the day, the network will have to cut the number of tubes, trains, trams and buses. Fewer services means more overcrowding, and a greater risk of Covid-19 transmission. Transport secretary Grant Shapps, who this afternoon claimed it was a “civic duty” to avoid public transport whenever possible (a mere 24 hours after the government told whole industries to return to work), said he was optimistic of striking a deal with the capital’s transport network.

In other news, an ONS survey showed that Britons think the UK will be kinder, fairer and less divided after the pandemic, while A&E attendances have fallen to half their normal level.

Scroll down this blog to read all the day’s big news. You can read today’s lunchtime summary here, and the morning briefing here.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy