Covid R rate increases slightly to more than 1 in some areas

Tammy Hughes and Tom Ambrose
·2-min read
<p>On average, every 10 people infected will infect between eight and 11 other people</p> (PA Wire)

On average, every 10 people infected will infect between eight and 11 other people

(PA Wire)

The official coronavirus R rate in England has risen this week and now sits between 0.8 and 1.1.

This means that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between eight and 11 other people.

Last week the R rate for England sat between 0.8 and 1 by the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

The R rate has remained relatively constant and below 1 since February 5, having peaked on January 15 at between 1.2 and 1.3.

Cases are falling across the UK and have dropped by nearly 40 per cent in the last week.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, which covers private households, shows an estimated 54,200 people were likely to have tested positive for Covid in the week to April 24, down from 90,000 the previous week.

This means around one in 1,010 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to April 24, down from one in 610.

It is the lowest figure since the week to September 5, when the estimate stood at one in 1,400.

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine from the University of East Anglia, said of the findings: “What makes this week’s results particularly important is that this would be the first week when there would be any evidence that the relaxation of April 12 would have had a negative impact on the epidemic.

“That there is in fact no evidence of an increased transmission risk is reassuring that for the time being at least it looks like the current road map is still on target.”

However, Rowland Kao, professor of data science at the University of Edinburgh, said that while the “continued decline is good news and should be celebrated”, the ONS survey does not yet “provide us with more information about what recent changes in restrictions are doing”.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.

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