Latest 'R rate' shows coronavirus still spreading in region

Coronavirus signs in The Buttermarket in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The R rate shows Covid-19 is still growing - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Latest statistics for the reproduction rate of coronavirus - the 'R rate' - have shown that infections are still spreading across the region.

The R number is the number of others that one infected person will pass the disease onto.

If it is below 1, it means the spread of the illness is slowing - but any value above 1 is a cause for concern, because those who are infected are passing it on to more people, who in turn are also infecting others.

It is not possible to be precise about the figure, because it changes depending on people's behaviour or because the level of immunity they have alters.

But at the moment, England as a whole has an R rate of 1.1 to 1.3 - which means that every 10 people infected will pass it on to between 12 and 13 other people.

Last week, the R rate in the East of England was between 1.1 and 1.3.

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The region's latest figures show the R rate at 1.0 and 1.3 - a slight decline on the previous week, but one that still shows coronavirus is spreading.

Case rates across Suffolk and north Essex have fallen of late, in a potential sign government restrictions might be having some impact.

Latest figures, for the seven days to January 14, showed that Babergh in Suffolk saw the biggest drop in cases, from 613.9 per 100,000 people to 373.8.

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Ipswich still has the highest case rate in Suffolk but did fall from 711.4 to 564.6, the figures revealed. 

The case rates in East Suffolk (424.5), West Suffolk (328.4) and Mid Suffolk (320.5) all fell from the seven days from January 7. 

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