One in 400 people in England has been infected with coronavirus, a major survey of households suggests.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) asked 11,000 individuals to carry out swab tests over the two weeks up to 10 May.
The results show that 148,000 people in England could be currently infected.
That is around 0.27% of the population.
It is hoped that the figures could help health ministers and health officials to come up with a meaningful reproduction (R) number, or transmission rate, of the virus and whether tracking the contacts of infected people is a credible course of action.
The massive study is expected to test 25,000 people in private households across all four UK nations.
The 5,000 households tested in this survey did not include people living in care homes or hospital patients, where rates of COVID-19 are likely to be much higher, the ONS figures show.
Just 33 of the 11,000 people – in 30 households – tested positive in this snapshot survey.