UK COVID R number falls sharply, likely below 1, government says

·1-min read
Pedestrians walk near public health signs, whilst the reproduction "R" number of COVID-19 infections in the United Kingdom has risen and may be above 1, London, Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - The estimated COVID-19 R number in the UK has dropped sharply and is likely to be below one, the British health ministry said on Friday, with the pandemic estimated to be shrinking by as much as 4% a day.

The latest R estimate for the whole of the UK is between 0.8 and 1.0, down from a range of 1.2 to 1.3 last week, meaning that on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.

The growth rate estimate for the UK is between -4% and -1%, the health ministry said. Last week it was estimated to be growing by +2% to +5%.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by William James)

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