UK's COVID R number jumps above 1, infections growing again

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FILE PHOTO: A drive-through testing centre following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bolton, Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's reproduction "R" number has jumped above 1 and the COVID-19 epidemic is estimated to be growing again, the Government Office for Science said on Friday, a sharp reversal from the shrinkage seen during England's national lockdown.

The R number is between 1.1 and 1.2 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 12 other people. It rose from an estimated 0.9-1.0 last week.

The daily growth rate is now between +1% and +4%, sharply higher compared to an estimated 0% to -2% figure reported last week that implied the epidemic had been shrinking.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Michael Holden)