Why the confirmed number of coronavirus cases in Sheffield has fallen to just one

Every day Public Health England publishes the confirmed number of cases in each local authority area.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 10:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:38 pm

On Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases in Sheffield stood at 15. But, by Wednesday morning it had fallen to just one. Why?

A spokesperson for Public Health England told The Star: “The figures should be treated as a guide. Since they are published on a daily basis, they are subject to data cleansing and as such they can fluctuate between Local Authority areas.

“What’s more, the figures do not give a true indication of how many cases there are in localities now that testing has changed - now we have moved to the delay phase we are mainly testing in hospitals rather than testing all suspected cases in communities.

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A coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary Hospital. (Photo by Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

They added: “If it says it’s five cases, for example, it’s got a degree of meaningless to it because now people are self-isolating we won’t know what the exact figures are.”