Coronavirus: R-rate could be above 1 in London, north-west and south-west, government warns


New government figures show the R coronavirus rate could be above 1 for three regions in England.

According to data released on Friday, the R-value is estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.1 for London, the North West and the South West.

The national reproduction rate is currently between 0.8 and 1.

England’s growth rate is between -5 percent and 0, up slightly from -4 percent to -1 percent last week.

In a joint statement, the Government Office of Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned that “these estimates represent the transmission of Covid-19 several weeks ago due to a delay between an infected person and the need for health care.

“Estimates using more recent data reflecting infections suggest a higher R for England than shown here. As a result, Sage does not believe that R is currently less than 1 in England. ”

Estimates of R and growth rate are provided by the Pandemic Influenza Modeling Science Group (SPI-M), a subgroup of Sage.

He said: “We are starting to see the first indications that these values ​​may increase.

“This is not reflected in these estimates yet because the data used to calculate R and growth rate reflects the situation from a few weeks ago. ”

A delay between initial infection and the need for hospital care typically means it takes between two and three weeks for changes in the spread of Covid-19 to be reflected in the estimates.

Government officials also said that a single average value does not accurately reflect how infections progress due to the large variability reported across the country.

“It is more appropriate to identify local hot spots, for example, by monitoring the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” the statement said on Friday.

The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections changes from day to day, and as the number of infections decreases, it is a way to keep track of the virus.

If it is greater than zero, and therefore positive, the infection will develop and if the growth rate is less than zero, the infection will decrease.

The R number represents the number of people infected by each person positive for Covid-19.

Despite the latest estimates, separate data from the Bureau of National Statistics have suggested that the number of new coronavirus cases may start to stabilize.

After analyzing data from nearly 120,000 swab tests, an estimated 28,300 people in England would have had Covid-19 during the week of July 27 to August 2. This equates to about one in 1,900 people.

While this figure is higher than the lower estimate at the end of June, the trend appears to be coming back down after rising steadily throughout July.

During the previous week, around 35,700 people had the virus, or about one in 1,500 people.

Meanwhile, statisticians in the Biostatistics Unit of the University of Cambridge’s Medical Research Council, which feeds information directly to the SPI-M, said on Thursday that the R-value is now likely to be close to 1 in most areas, the southwest potentially greater than 1., although the low number of overall infections makes it difficult to accurately predict the spread of the disease.


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