United Kingdom

Covid R rate falls slightly to between 0.8 and 1

Any R number below 1 means the virus is in retreat (Picture: AFP)

England’s R number, measuring the speed at which Covid-19 spreads, has dropped slightly to between 0.8 and 1.

This means that on average, every 10 people infected with the the virus will pass it on to between eight and 10 others.

Last week, the figure estimated by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) was between 0.8 and 1.1.

An R number above 1 means the outbreak can grow exponentially, while a rate below 1 means the virus is in retreat.

The latest figures suggest the growth rate of Covid infections is between -3% and 0%, compared to -4% and -1% in the previous week.

This means the number of new cases is now shrinking by up to 3% per day.

Latest R numbers by NHS region

England – 0.8 to 1.0

East of England – 0.8 to 1.1

London – 0.8 to 1.1

Midlands – 0.8 to 1.0

North East and Yorkshire – 0.7 to 1.0

North West – 0.7 to 1.0

South East – 0.8 to 1.1

South West – 0.8 to 1.1

In some regions of England, the maximum R number is 1.1, according to Sage’s estimates.

But this does not necessarily mean R is definitively above 1 and that the epidemic is increasing, just that the uncertainty means it cannot be ruled out.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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