Coronavirus ‘R’ number for East of England could be falling

Coronavirus testing at Norwich Research Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Coronavirus testing at Norwich Research Park. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Latest figures show the reproduction rate of coronavirus is likely to be falling in the east of England, latest estimates show.

The reproduction rate, known as R, is the average number of people infected by someone with coronavirus.

If the number is below one cases will decline, and if above they will increase.

Nationally, the government says the figure is between 0.7 and 1, but it has not regularly published regional numbers.

But Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, revealed regional R numbers yesterday, showing that the east of England rate was between 0.5 and 0.8 and is likely to be decreasing.

If accurate, that would mean the number of people with coronavirus in the region would halve every 8 days.

However, this latest estimate, from the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases, is from May 18.

Mr Burnham wrote that the R numbers showed there was little room for manoeuvre when it came to easing the lockdown.

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