Coronavirus R rate drops for second week in a row – but stays above 1

BRITAIN’S R rate has dropped again this week but has stayed above 1 across the country, data has revealed.

The current R value – the number of people an infected person will pass Covid-19 on to – is now estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.3.

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It comes after data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that cases had soared by 50 per cent in just a week.

The R rate has dropped again this week and it is the second week in a row that it has fallen.

Last week on October 23, the government announced that the R rate was between 1.2 and 1.4.

The week before, on October 16, it was between 1.3 and 1.5.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.

An R number between 1.1 and 1.3 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.

The data also stated that the growth rate sits between two and four per cent.

This means that the number of new infections is growing by two to four per cent every day.


In the East of England the R rate is between 1.2 and 1.4, with the growth rate currently between three and six per cent.

This is the same in both the Midlands and in the South East.

In London the R rate is currently between 1.1 and 1.3, with a growth rate of two to six per cent.

This hasn’t moved since last week, and leaders in the capital have been discussing moving the city into Tier 3 restrictions as cases continue to grow across various London boroughs.

The North East and Yorkshire sits in the same position as London with an R rate between 1.1 and 1.3.

King’s College London today revealed that several areas in the North East could face being pushed into Tier 3 restrictions as cases continue to rise in the certain local authority areas.

What does R rate mean?

R0, or R nought, refers to the average number of people that one infected person can expect to pass the coronavirus on to.

Scientists use it to predict how far and how fast a disease will spread – and the number can also inform policy decisions about how to contain an outbreak.

For example, if a virus has an R0 of three, it means that every sick person will pass the disease on to three other people if no containment measures are introduced.

It’s also worth pointing out that the R0 is a measure of how infectious a disease is, but not how deadly.

There are four areas in the North East that feature on the watchlist, Sunderland is first, followed by Newcastle Upon Tyne and South Tyneside.

County Durham is also on the list but it in 7th place, Hartlepool in County Durham topped the list last week.

The South West currently has an R rate between 1.2 and 1.5 with a growth rate of four to seven per cent.

Infection rates

Figures from the ONS today revealed that cases of the virus have grown in all age groups – but especially in older teenagers and young adults.

The most recent ONS data covers the period from 17 to 23 October 2020 and states that 1 in 100 people are infected with the virus.

Last week it reported that 433,300 people were infected with the virus in private households – this figure excludes care homes.

Figures from last week also state that there were 35,000 new cases of the virus, while this week the ONS recorded 51,900 new cases per day.

Estimates from the Department of Health and Social Care estimate that this is at 23,065, on October 29.

Data from King’s College London, which covers up to October 25 suggests that there are 43,569 a day, while data from Imperial College London states there could be up to 96,000 a day.

Cambridge data is similar to the ONS and estimates that there are 55,600 cases a day.

It was yesterday reported that the number of Brits who have lost their lives to coronavirus is nearing 46,000 – as another 280 people were reported to have died from the virus.

Figures from NHS England yesterday stated that 23,065 more people tested positive for the deadly bug.

In total, 45,955 people have died with Covid since the UK’s outbreak began.

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