SOME 1.6million people in England could ALREADY be infected with coronavirus - and more than half of those people live outside London, according to a new study.
By the end of today, that figure could have risen to 2.8m, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
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Researchers say the deadly bug has a daily growth rate of 20 per cent.
According to work by Edge Health, although the number of people who have tested positive for the virus in the UK is 17,000, the actual number of infections in England alone is likely to be at least 1,614,505.
The country's worst-hit area is London. The capital is likely to have some 760,590 Covid-19 cases - just under half of the total.
In Southwark, one out of every six people is likely to have the deadly bug, according to the researchers.
Although the borough had 253 recorded cases as of Thursday, it is believed the actual number of infected people could be as high as 49,139.
In six other London boroughs, more than one in 10 people now carry the virus, according to the scientists.
These are Lambeth, Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Harrow, Wandsworth and Westminster.
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However, most cases are now outside of London. The Midlands is thought to be hosting a further 282,954 infections.
In Wolverhampton, one in 15 people are believed to be infected.
Researchers from Edge Health say they calculated the expected number of cases by looking at the total number of recorded deaths in each region.
They assumed a mortality rate of 0.7 per cent in London and 0.9 per cent outside the capital, where the population is older.
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The figures were revealed as Boris Johnson writes to Britain's 28m households.
His letter, which will be sent this week, says the Government will do "whatever it takes to help you make ends meet".
Mr Johnson has been in total isolation since testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday.
The coronavirus death toll hit 1,019 yesterday, a rise of 260 and the biggest daily leap in fatalities.
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