Around half of people in the community who had a “strong” positive test for coronavirus reported having symptoms, new data shows.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, published on Thursday, show that 47% of people testing positive for the Covid-19 in the UK with a strong positive test reported symptoms in March compared to 53% who did not.

The strength of the test is measured by a cycle threshold (Ct) value and the lower the Ct value, the higher the viral load and stronger the positive test, the ONS said.

Fatigue, headache and cough were the most commonly reported symptoms from people who tested positive for Covid with a strong positive test between December 1 last year and March 22.

Of those testing positive with a strong positive test 18% reported a loss or taste of smell only, the ONS said.

All figures are for people in private households and excludes cases in hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings.

A total of 90.6% of people who were tested for Covid-19 in England in the week ending March 31 at a regional site, local site or mobile testing unit – a so-called “in-person” test – received their result within 24 hours.

This is up from 88.6% in the previous week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had pledged that, by the end of June 2020, the results of all in-person tests would be back within 24 hours.

He told the House of Commons on June 3 that he would get “all tests turned around within 24 hours by the end of June, except for difficulties with postal tests or insuperable problems like that”.

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