Coronavirus 'R rate' below 1.0 both in the East and nationally

The coronavirus infection rate in Ipswich and West Suffolk has risen Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The coronavirus 'R rate' is below 1.0 in the East of England and nationally - Credit: Archant

The coronavirus R rate is now below 1.0 in the East of England and the rest of the country, meaning the number of new cases is shrinking.

NHS England data has revealed the reproduction rate - known as the R rate or number - is between 0.7 and 0.9 in the East.

This means that, on average, every 10 people in the region with Covid-19 will go on to infect between seven and nine others.

It was revealed last month that the rate in the East had fallen sharply to between 0.6 and 0.9, having been between 1.2 and 1.5 before Christmas.

The growth rate is now between -5% and -3% in the region, an indicator that the number of new infections is falling every day.

The NHS data has also revealed the rate for the whole of England is between 0.7 and 0.9, having peaked as high as between 1.0 and 1.4 at the start of the year.

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The R rate for each region is calculated by scientists and is only an estimate - but the government's SAGE scientists believe the values are accurate.

Government ministers and SAGE experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping the R number below 1.0 throughout the pandemic.

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