Covid could be spreading again according to latest R rate

Estimates of the R-value and growth rate released today suggest that the Covid-19 coronavirus could spread again in England.

It comes amid growing concerns about the Indian variant – and just hours before Boris Johnson will give the nation a live TV address.

Surge tests have now been started in areas of northwest England where cases of the Indian variant of the coronavirus are on the rise.

According to the latest estimate released this afternoon by the Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) and the Emergency Scientific Advisory Group (Sage), the R-range in England is 0.8-1.1 and the growth rate is -3 % to + 1%.

However, these estimates represent the transmission of Covid two to three weeks ago due to the time lag between infection, the development of symptoms, and the need for health care.

In last week’s estimates, both estimates were down slightly, with the R-value between 0.8 and 1.0. and the growth rate is between -3% and 0%.

These are the latest estimates for each region:

region R. Growth rate% per day
England 0.8 to 1.1 -3 to 1
East of England 0.8 to 1.1 -5 to 1
London 0.8 to 1.0 -4 to 0
Midlands 0.8 to 1.0 -3 to 0
North East and Yorkshire 0.8 to 1.0 -4 to 0
northwest 0.8 to 1.1 -3 to 2
South east 0.8 to 1.0 -5 to -1
southwest 0.8 to 1.1 -4 to 1

The government website states: “The UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over various epidemiological situations and should be used as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic status.

“Given the increasingly localized approach to tackling the epidemic, particularly between nations, UK estimates are less meaningful than before and may not accurately reflect the current picture of the epidemic.

“The R-value and growth rates for the four nations and regions of the NHS England are more robust and useful than those for the UK as a whole. As a result, UK estimates of the R-value and growth rate are no longer being made.

“An R-value between 0.8 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.

“A growth rate between -3% and 1% means that the number of new infections can be largely flat, shrink by up to 3% daily or grow by up to 1% daily.

“These estimates represent the transmission of COVID-19 2 to 3 weeks ago due to the time lag between infection, the development of symptoms, and the need for health care.”

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