England’s R number increases slightly to between 1 and 1.2

·2-min read
<p>An R number between 1 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 other people</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

An R number between 1 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 other people

(AFP via Getty Images)

The coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, in England is between 1 and 1.2, according to the latest Government figures.

Last week, it was between 1 and 1.1.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

An R number between 1 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 other people.

The R rate peaked on January 15 at between 1.2 and 1.3, and came down to a low of 0.6 to 0.8 in mid-March. It then crept back up again over the past few weeks as further restrictions were eased.

It comes as the Office of National Statistics shared new data which showed an increase in Covid cases of the Indian (Delta) and Kent (Alpha) variants.

The Indian variant has risen in England, while cases of the Kent variant have increased in Wales.

The ONS estimates 85,600 people, or 0.16 per cent, in England had Covid in the week running up to May 29.

Areas in the North West, East Midlands, and South West saw a increase in infections, with the West Midlands and London starting to see a possible rise in cases.

The spread of new variants has caused concern and raised questions as to whether June 21 - the proposed date for easing all remaining restrictions- should still go ahead.

On Thursday, the UK recorded 5,274 new Covid cases–the highest number of daily infections since March.

There have also been another 18 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 127,812.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce his decision on whether the country will proceed with reopening on June 14.

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