October 25, 2020

Coronavirus R number rises again across UK - to between 1.2 and 1.5

September 25, 2020

The coronavirus 'R number' for the UK could now be as high as between 1.2 and 1.5, say government advisers.

Last week, it was an estimated 1.1 to 1.4 (from 1.0 and 1.2), according to science advisory body SAGE.

In this week's estimate, they said there was "widespread growth of the epidemic across the country" of between 4% and 8% per day.

The R number indicates the average number of people each person with coronavirus goes on to infect and needs to remain below 1.0 to keep the pandemic under control.

An number between 1.2 and 1.5 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 others.

The figure represents transmission over the last few weeks and there is a slight time lag to reporting.

On Thursday, Scotland raised its R number range to between 1.2 and 1.6 (from 1.1 and 1.4).

Wales also raised it this week to between 0.7 and 1.2 (from 0.7 and 1.0).

Northern Ireland now just gives a single figure estimate - and on Thursday it raised it from 1.2 to 1.5.

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