Latest East of England ‘R’ rate rises again and could now be above 1

The R number could now be above one in the East of England Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The R number could now be above one in the East of England Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

New data has shown that the R rate for the East of England has risen again and could now be above one.

Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R across the East of England is 0.9 to 1.2.

Nationally the rate is between 1.0 and 1.2.

If R is greater than 1 the epidemic is growing, and if R is less than 1, it is shrinking.

The growth rate of coronavirus transmission, which reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, has also increased slightly.

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For the East of England the growth rate is between minus 1% and plus 4%.

For the whole of the UK the latest growth rate is between minus 1% and plus 3% per day, a slight change from between minus 1% and plus 2% last week.

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The growth rate means the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 1% and growing by 3% every day.

MORE: Find out the latest number of coronavirus cases and infection rates where you live

New data from Imperial College London has also been published today.

It showed that prevalence of coronavirus was doubling every 7.7 days and estimated the R number to be at 1.7.

The R rate published by Imperial has been estimated based on a cohort of 150,000 volunteers within a specific timeframe.

The weekly official government R rate is produced by SAGE and uses many data sources and models to produce a consensus view in the scientific community of the likely R number over a longer timeframe.

Professor Paul Elliott, Director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, said:“Our large and robust dataset clearly shows a concerning trend in coronavirus infections, where cases are growing quickly across England and are no longer concentrated in key workers. What we are seeing is evidence of an epidemic in the community and not a result of increased testing capacity.

“This is a critical time and it’s vital that the public, our health system and policy-makers are aware of the situation as we cannot afford complacency.”

Kelly Beaver, Managing Director- Public Affairs at Ipsos MORI said: “Each and every participant in our study has contributed immensely to the national effort in tracking COVID-19 across England.

“I would like to thank all those who have taken part for their invaluable contribution.

“By participating in the study they have helped to provide timely data to Government on the rise in case numbers and allowed Ministers to adopt measures to combat that rise.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:“We’ve seen all across the world how a rise in cases, initially among younger people, leads to hospitalisations and fatalities. The pandemic is not over, and everyone has a role to play to keep the virus at bay and avoid another further restrictions.

“It’s so important that everyone abides by the law and socialise in groups up to six, make space between you and those outside your household, get a test and self-isolate if you develop symptoms and wash your hands regularly.

“It is vital you engage with NHS Test and Trace service if contacted to provide details of your close contacts and self-isolate if you are asked to do so.”

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