“The SAGE said he was not confident that the R number was less than the crucial one in England.
“The latest estimate places the R number – which estimates the average number of people to whom an infected person transmits the virus – between 0.8 and 0.9. ”
JUST IN: Coronavirus update: Men this size are twice as likely to get the disease
He then showed a regional breakdown of the R number, revealing that the East of England, London and the South East had all achieved an R number of one.
The Northwest and Southwest had surpassed that, reaching an alarming reproduction rate of 1.1
Joshi continued, “In the Northwest, where new restrictions have been imposed, breeding has gone from 0.7 to 1 last week to 0.8 to 1.1 this week.
“As soon as people are allowed to move and mix, even with social distancing, there is an increase in infections.
It comes after the UK on Thursday recorded its highest daily total of COVID-19 cases for more than a month, according to figures from the Department of Health.
Scientists at Cambridge University’s MRC Biostatistics Unit have warned that it is “very likely” that most parts of England are close to the point where the virus begins to spread exponentially.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned: “It is clear that we are now facing, I am afraid, the threat of a second wave in other parts of Europe and we just need to be vigilant. ”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also said the figures showed a “second wave was starting to roll across Europe”.