* The figures for tests with a positive COVID-19 result come from labs run by Public Health England, NHS hospitals, and private "Lighthouse" labs. The figures are updated daily and shown below for recent dates when tests took place. The total for recent days are under-under-estimates because it takes some time for all the results to be published.
Using the official figure for coronavirus cases, based on test results, is a misleading way to view the spread of the pandemic. It is clear from the many deaths that followed, that the new coronavirus was spreading widely in the UK long before significant testing began. With inconsistent and low volumes of testing for COVID-19, one way of estimating real infections is working back from deaths that follow approximately 3 weeks later.
* Estimated new infections is a Reuters rough estimate based on a 1% infection fatality rate (IFR) [Most studies currently show IFR at 0.5%-1%] and average time from infection to death of approximately 3 weeks . The IFR will vary based on age distribution, so the number of infections is likely an over-estimate in the later stages of the outbreak when, in most areas, infection spread into care homes.
* All estimates are unreliable in areas with only a few cases or deaths, e.g. the City of London.
Source: Office of National Statistics; National Records of Scotland; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; Public Health England; Public Health Wales; Scottish government.