Nicola Sturgeon reveals R-rate could be ‘as high as 1.5’
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The coronavirus R-rate was estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.5 last week, but has now called to between 1.2 and 1.4 according to scientists advising the Government. The R-rate is an important indicator of the strength of the current epidemic in England.
The R-rate refers to a way of rating coronavirus or any other disease’s ability to spread.
R is the number of people one infected person can pass the virus on to, on average.
Measles has an R number of 15 in populations without immunity which means on average one person passes it onto 15 others.
Coronavirus would have a reproduction number of three if no action was taken to stop it spreading.
However, the current rate is 1.2 to 1.4, with the latest growth rate estimated to be between four and seven percent each day.
With the R-rate between 1.2 and 1.4, this means on average for every 10 people infected, a further 12 to 14 people will be infected.
A growth rate of between four percent and seven percent means that the number of new infections is growing by between four and seven percent every day.
These estimates represent the transmission of COVID-19 two to three weeks ago, due to the time delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare.
The latest R rate and growth rate for each NHS region are as follows:
- England: R-rate – 1.2 to 1.4 – growth rate per day (percent) 4 to 7
- East of England: 1.2 to 1.5 – 4 to 8
- London: 1.2 to 1.4 – 3 to 6
- Midlands: 1.3 to 1.5 – 5 to 8
- North East and Yorkshire: 1.2 to 1.6 – 5 to 9
- North West: 1.0 to 1.3 – 1 to 5
- South East: 1.3 to 1.6 – 5 to 8
- South West: 1.2 to 1.5 – 4 to 8.
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If the R rate is higher than one, then the number of cases keeps increasing.
The lower the R number, the less likely the disease is to keep spreading.
This is because not enough new people are being infected to sustain the outbreak.
Governments everywhere want to force the R number down from about three (the R number if we took no action) to below one.
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