EXPERTS believe there could be 10,000 active cases of coronavirus in Southend alone.

New analysis carried out as part of the ZOE Covid Study estimates there could be thousands more symptomatic cases of coronavirus in the borough than originally thought.

Government data shows there were more than 3,000 new cases recorded in Southend in the week up to December 25.

But experts behind the Zoe Covid study estimate there are 10,002 active cases of Covid-19 in Southend right now.

Yesterday, they revealed 75 per cent of people experiencing new cold-like symptoms are likely to have symptomatic Covid-19.

The number for Southend are based on data provided by 1,903 in the area.

Thurrock is estimated to have the highest number of active Covid cases according to the Zoe study, which requires people to log symptoms of coronavirus.

It is estimated to 12,839 infections right now.

Basildon is also thought to have more than 10,000 active cases, while both Castle Point and Rochford are predicted to have more than 3,000 each.

The team behind the Zoe study said that the incidence figures show there are currently 192,290 new daily symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in the UK on average, based on test data from up to three days ago.

This is up 33 per cent from the 144,284 reported last week.

The study also found that while the rise in cases appeared to be slowing in the 0 to 55 age groups it was “rising sharply” in the 55 to 75-year-old groups.

It said that this was “worrying” because this older age group was more at risk of needing hospital treatment.

Dr Claire Steves, scientist on the ZOE Covid Study app, said that while the number of daily new symptomatic Covid cases was more than double what it was this time last year, exponential growth appeared to have stopped.

But the reader at King’s College London said that symptoms such as a sore throat, headache, and runny nose needed to be added to the Government list of Covid symptoms as soon as possible.

She added: “The number of daily new symptomatic Covid cases are more than double what they were this time last year and we are just a day or two away from hitting over 200,000.

“However, the exponential growth in cases appears to have stopped, and the rise is more steady.

“Hospitalisation rates are thankfully much lower than this time last year, but they are still high, especially in London.

“It’s good news to see that fewer people are newly sick than a few weeks ago.

“However, the fact that 75 per cent of new cold-like symptoms are Covid, and the classic symptoms are much less common, means the Government advice needs to be urgently updated.

“We want to see symptoms like sore throat, headache and runny nose added to the list as soon as possible.”