UK's covid R number drops to between 1.2 and 1.4

23 October 2020, 13:52 | Updated: 23 October 2020, 15:09

A woman walks past face masks being sold
A woman walks past face masks being sold. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The UK's R number is dropping, scientists confirmed today.

Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.2 and 1.4.

Last week, the R number was between 1.3 and 1.5.

The news also comes as data suggests the number of new daily coronavirus cases across England has doubled in a fortnight but the rate of growth may be slowing down.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey estimates there was an average of 35,200 new cases per day of Covid-19 in the community in England
between October 10 and 16.

The R-value has gone down from last week
The R-value has gone down from last week. Picture: PA

This is up 26% from an estimated 27,900 new cases per day for the period from October 2 to 8 and just over double the 17,200 new cases per day from September 25 to October 1.

The ONS said the rate of new infections "has continued to increase" in recent weeks though experts suggested the growth may have slowed down.

The data does not include people staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

According to the ONS, an estimated 433,300 people in England had coronavirus during the most recent week, equating to around one in 130 people.

It said: "There has been growth in Covid-19 infection rates in all age groups over the past two weeks including those aged over 70, with the current rates highest in older teenagers and young adults.

"The highest Covid-19 infection rates continue to be seen in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East."

This story is being updated

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