Epidemic still growing with England’s R number between 1.1 and 1.5

·2-min read
 (Jeremy Selwyn)
(Jeremy Selwyn)

England’s R number now stands between 1.1 and 1.5, meaning the epidemic is still growing.

An R - or reproduction - number of between 1.1 and 1.5 means that for every 10 people infected, they will on average infect between 11 and 15 other people.

London’s R number three weeks ago was estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.6.

As the number is above 1, it means the epidemic is growing bigger rather than shrinking.

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the UK continues to increase.

According to the latest figures from the week ending January 6, 3,735,000 people had the virus, which is around one in 15 people.

It comes after the UK recorded a further 335 Covid-related deaths and 109,587 cases on Thursday.

By comparison, 398 Covid related deaths were recorded on Wednesday - the highest total in 11 months.

A total of 52,031,355 first doses of a COVID vaccine have so far been administered in the UK, according to the latest government figures.

So far, 62.7 per cent of the UK population aged 12 or over has had three vaccine doses.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently announced that the isolation period for those who test positive for Covid will be reduced from seven days to five.

Revealing the news in the Commons, he said data from the UK Health Security Agency shows “around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five” and “we want to use the testing capacity that we’ve built up to help these people leave isolation safely”.

The change, which comes into force on Monday, allows individuals to leave isolation five days after experiencing Covid symptoms or receiving a positive test result.

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