Coronavirus R rate now below 1.0 in East of England as infections fall
- Credit: Archant
The coronavirus R rate in the East of England has fallen below 1.0 and is now lower than the national average, government data has revealed.
Latest data from NHS England has shown that the region's rate is between 0.6 and 0.9, slightly lower than the average for England between 0.8 and 1.0.
This means that, on average, every 10 people with Covid-19 in the East will go on to infect between six and nine others.
The growth rate is now between -8% and -2% in the region, meaning the number of new infections is decreasing every day.
The government has repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping the R number below 1.0, which would mean the number of new infections is falling.
Previous figures had the East of England's R rate between 1.0 and 1.3.
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Stuart Keeble, Suffolk County Council’s director of Public Health, has warned there is still a long way to go before restrictions can be relaxed, despite the good news.
He said: “The R Rate in the East of England has fallen below 1 for the first time since August, which is a good indication that transmission of the virus is starting to slow here in the East.
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"This shows that the actions we are taking daily are having an effect, but there is still a long way to go, with many more people in Suffolk currently infected with covid-19 than we were seeing in August.
"The virus is still spreading, and any lapse in our resolve will increase transmission and crucially, put more lives at risk.
“We can all play our part by limiting our contact with others; staying at home, washing our hands, wearing a facemask, making space for others and isolating if we test positive for covid-19 or come into contact with somebody who has."
Mr Keeble also stressed how there are several schemes in place to support those in Suffolk who have to isolate, including Home But Not Alone and the government's new Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.