Official coronavirus R rate hits 1.4 across UK – as cases double every 7 days

THE coronavirus R rate has hit 1.4 across the entire country – as cases double every seven days, officials have confirmed.

Government scientists say they are confident the number is now above the crucial value of 1 which means the virus is growing again.

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They estimated the figure to be between a range of 1.1 and 1.4 for the whole of the UK – with the true rate sitting somewhere in the middle.

An R number between 1.1 and 1.4 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 14 other people.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) also warns the growth rate – which reflects how quickly the number of infections are changing day-by-day – has increased to between +2 per cent and +7 per cent.

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

A Sage spokesperson said: "When the numbers of cases or deaths fall to low levels and/or there is a high degree of variability in transmission across a region, then care should be taken when interpreting estimates of R and the growth rate.

"For example, a significant amount of variability across a region due to a local outbreak may mean that a single average value does not accurately reflect the way infections are changing throughout that region.

"It is SAGE’s expert view, however, that this week’s estimates are reliable, and that there is widespread growth of the epidemic across the country.

"These estimates represent the transmission of Covid-19 over the past few weeks due to the time delay between someone being infected, having symptoms and needing healthcare."

More to follow…
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