UK Covid Modelling

Firstly, just to say, we are all fine!

We are working from home, and everyone - and their families - are healthy and well.

As part of our approach to testing our simulation skills within the company (and part of a service we provide to outside agencies), we apply our FluidFlowEngine tool to everyday concerns, from public health, to renewable energy sources and transport simulation.

Well, dynamic multi-agent modelling comes in many forms, and testing your abilities in a real-world context is a key part of what we do.

Here, for example, is our ongoing model of R (the reproductive number of COVID-19) in England, during 2020-21:

Estimated R in England

When R is below 1.0, then the pandemic is under control in England. When R is above 1.0 then the epidemic is spreading.

The following graph is the result of a real-time R number calculation in England during the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest UK government SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) figure should be available here, so you can make your own assessment as to the accuracy of our model.

For the last seven days that data was available, the R number in England was calculated to be:​​​​​​​​​​   ​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​  ​​​              ​    ​  ​​​​            ​​ ​​                   ​          ​​​​    ​       ​​    ​​​​​​​​ ​​  ​ ​​  ​  ​​​​​      ​    ​   ​     ​ ​       ​​     ​ ​  ​  ​​ ​  ​​    ​ ​       ​​     ​             ​​​      ​     ​​​​​​​     ​  ​​​         ​    ​​​ ​     ​​    

  • 14 Jul                  1.43 

  • 15 Jul                  1.38     

  • 16 Jul                  1.36     

  • 17 Jul                  1.37   

  • 18 Jul                  1.38     

  • 19 Jul                  1.35       

  • 20 Jul                  1.34                                                                                      

*** The Reproduction (R) number was below 1.0 from mid-January to mid-May, but has been accelerating since the beginning of June (albeit from a relatively low base of infections). The latest "Delta" variant is largely being spread through the unvaccinated population. Although the fatality rate in the young is less than the old, permanent organ damage is still possible, and the unvaccinated remain vulnerable to a lifetime of recurring sickness. To protect yourself and those around you, please get fully vaccinated as soon as possible (and be prepared for a booster jab every year). ***

Results since 1 April 2020 can be downloaded here

A few pieces of data:

  • 1st Wave of the pandemic:

       The Covid-19 pandemic arrived in the UK sometime before February 2020.​

  • The end of the 1st Wave:

       England entered a National Lockdown on 23rd March 2020.

       England had an R less than 1.0 between 11th April and 8th August 2020.

       The lowest R that England went down to during the 2020 summer lockdown was 0.64 in July 2020.

  • 2nd Wave of the pandemic:

       It was clear (with > 95% probability) that the pandemic was accelerating again on 5th September 2020.

       This signalled the emergence of a second Covid-19 wave in the UK.

       However, the UK Government didn't lockdown again until 5 November 2020.

       The peak R in England during the second wave (in September 2020) was 1.88.

       The R in England dropped below 1.0 for a second time on 20 November 2020.

       The lowest R that England went down to during the second lockdown was 0.86 in November 2020.

       And rose back above 1.0 again on 5th December 2020.

  • 3rd Wave of the pandemic:

       On 3rd January 2021 it was clear that the pandemic was accelerating again, and a third National Lockdown was required.           The UK Government announced a new National lockdown on 4th January 2021, to start immediately on 5th January.

       The peak R in England during the third wave (in January 2021) was 1.39.

       The R in England dropped below 1.0 for a third time on 18th January 2021 and remained below 1.0 until 19th May 2021.

       The lowest R that England has gone down to in 2021 was 0.69 on 5th March 2021.

  • We are currently experiencing a fourth wave likely due to the Indian variant.

  • At this stage, with successful vaccine delivery ongoing, we do not expect a fourth national lockdown to be required, however, we are monitoring the situation and providing advice where needed. We would recommend you restrict your contact with anyone outside your close family, until at least three weeks after you have had a second injection.

As you might expect, we also model aerosol and droplet transmission, and are involved with a very detailed project comparing closed-room and open, ventilated environments. Those results are provided for academic and Government use, and published separately - but I would recommend, this winter (2020-21), until there is a readily-available vaccine, please open your windows! Your life may depend on it.

If you need any further information, please contact