Data released this afternoon (May 28) by the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC) and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) put the figure between 1.0 and 1.1.
The North West and London have the highest R-rate, each with R-rates between 1.0% and 1.2%.
However, the daily growth rate in the North West – where the Indian variant is centered – reaches up to 4%, while in London the daily growth rate rises to a maximum of 3%.
The country’s rate last week was between 0.9 and 1.1 while it was as low as between 0.6 and 0.9 on February 19.
This is the highest range since January 15, when it was between 1.2 and 1.3.
R represents the average number of people infected by each person positive for Covid-19.
When the number is greater than 1, an epidemic can grow exponentially, but when it is less than 1, it means that the epidemic is decreasing.
England’s current R-number means that on average 10 people infected with Covid-19 will infect between 10 and 11 other people.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that up to three-quarters of new cases of Covid in the UK could be of the Indian variant.
According to data from Public Health England, cases of the Indian variant have increased from 3,535 to 6,959 since last week.
However, Hancock added that the vaccines “broke the link between cases and hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus.”
The next few weeks will be crucial in determining whether England’s coronavirus restrictions can be lifted next month, experts have said.
Current data suggests that although hospital admissions are increasing in parts of the country affected by the Indian variant, overall admissions remain broadly stable.
Some experts argued on Friday that the restrictions should remain in place until more of the population has received the two doses of the vaccine, Professor Christina Pagel of University College London and a member of ‘Independent Sage, saying the reopening should be delayed for a few more months.
But the chief executive of industry body UK Hospitality, Kate Nicholls, said it was “absolutely essential” that the rest of the hospitality industry be allowed to unblock on June 21.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters on Thursday he “has not seen anything in the data currently” to turn away from the June reopening target, adding: “But we may have to wait.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said Friday “there is nothing in the data to suggest that we should move the day” of June 21, when all legal limits on social contact should be lifted in England.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today show: “The caveat is obviously that the data can change. So if the scientific data indicates an increase in the hospitalization rate, an increased degree of risk, then we have the flexibility to move that date. “
But he added: “As of today, based on the data I saw, I didn’t think we would move the date.
“But I can’t guarantee that on May 28, you’ll appreciate that I can’t guarantee that in three and a half weeks.” “
Data for England released Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that one in 1,120 people in private households had Covid-19 in the week to May 22 – broadly unchanged from one in 1,110 the previous week. The estimate for Scotland is around one in 630, compared to one in 1,960, which brings Scotland back to where it was about a month ago.
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