BREAKING: UK’s coronavirus R rate drops to as low as 1.2
Latest estimates put the crucial figure at between 1.2 and 1.4 for the week ending October 23.
Otherwise known as the reproduction number, R is the average number of secondary infections produced by a single infected person. Any number above 1 shows the outbreak is growing exponentially.Visit our live blog for the latest updatesIt’s been used as a vital piece of data to determine whether more restrictions are needed across the country to help slow the spread of infection.
AdvertisementAdvertisementNew figures also show the growth rate has been shifted down from 4-7% to 3-6%. This estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day.In a day in which several new pieces of crucial data came to light, Office for National Statistics figures showed the
number of new daily coronavirus cases across England has doubled in a fortnightbut the rate of growth may be slowing down.Figures from the ONS infection survey estimateed there was an average of 35,200 new cases per day of Covid-19 in the community in England between October 10 and 16.
People out on Princess Street in Edinburgh, Scotland (Picture: Getty Images Europe)This is up 26% from an estimated 27,900 new cases per day for the period from October 2 to 8 and just over double the 17,200 new cases per day from September 25 to October 1.
The highest Covid-19 infection rates continue to be seen in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East.Professor James Naismith, from the University of Oxford, said the most recent figures – looking at the increase from 27,900 to 35,200 cases per day – suggest the rate of growth of the epidemic may be slowing down.
He said: ‘Comparing the average number of infections per day measured by ONS for the week ending Oct 9 and the week ending Oct 16 suggests that the doubling time might have increased to three weeks.‘If so, and I emphasise there are uncertainties, this is a hopeful sign that the rate of increase is slowing down.’
A couple shopping in Knighton which straddles England and Wales (Picture: Getty)He said the figures were ‘hopeful’ but added that it was ‘too early to draw firm conclusions’.He added: ‘Feeding these numbers back in to yesterday’s track and trace numbers reveals the scale of the challenge facing the current PCR-based test, track and trace system.
‘Testing identified less than half the people who got infected in the week ending October 14.‘This is a disease which is asymptomatic for the majority and rapidly spread. It is very hard to track and trace.’ Read more: Metro »
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