Britain’s coronavirus R rate has dropped again, according to the government’s scientific advisers.

SAGE today estimated the reproduction rate – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – stands between 1.1 and 1.3. The number must stay below one for an outbreak to shrink.

This marks the second week in a row that the group’s estimate has fallen, with it standing at between 1.2 and 1.4 in last Friday’s report and 1.3 to 1.5 the week before that. 

And the advisory panel predicted the outbreak may be growing fastest in the South West, alongside the East of England, Midlands and South East, amid mounting evidence that the virus is no longer just causing havoc in the north. They also revealed infections may be spreading the slowest in the North West, where millions are living under the harshest Tier Three restrictions. 

Despite the drop in the R rate the advisory panel, whose advice has been key to guiding Number 10 through the pandemic, warned it was certain the outbreak is still growing ‘rapidly across the country’. 

Separate official data today warned infections surged by 50 per cent last week and are still ‘rising steeply’. The Office for National Statistics estimated 52,000 people were getting infected in England every day in the week ending October 23.

The team, whose calculations are based on the results of thousands of random swab tests, said roughly one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago.

Other researchers at King’s College London, however, predicted England has around 32,000 new symptomatic cases per day and claimed infections are rising ‘steadily’ and ‘have not spiralled out of control’. And data released by Public Health England today revealed that 20 out of all 150 authorities in England saw a fall in their infection rates in the week ending October 25. 

HOW HAS THE R RATE CHANGED IN THE UK? 

AREA

ENGLAND 

UK

EAST 

LONDON

MIDLANDS

NORTH EAST 

NORTH WEST

SOUTH EAST

SOUTH WEST

THIS WEEK

1.1 – 1.3 

1.1 – 1.3

1.2 – 1.4 

1.1 – 1.3

1.2 – 1.4

1.1 – 1.3

1.0 – 1.2

1.2 – 1.4

1.2 – 1.5 

LAST WEEK

1.2 – 1.4 

1.2 – 1.4

— 

1.2 – 1.4 

1.1 – 1.3 

1.1 – 1.3

1.1 – 1.3

1.1 – 1.3

1.2 – 1.5

1.3 – 1.6 

HOW HAS THE GROWTH RATE CHANGED? 

AREA

ENGLAND 

UK

EAST 

LONDON

MIDLANDS

NORTH EAST 

NORTH WEST

SOUTH EAST

SOUTH WEST 

THIS WEEK 

3% to 5%

2% to 4% 

— 

3% to 6%

2% to 5%

3% to 6%

2% to 5%

1% to 3%

3% to 6%

4% to 7%

LAST WEEK   

3% to 5%

3% to 6%

— 

3% to 6% 

2% to 5% 

2% to 5%

2% to 5%

2% to 5%

4% to 7% 

5% to 9% 

When the R rate is above one, an outbreak can grow exponentially. An R of 1.3 means on average every 10 people infected will infect 13 other people. 

The estimates for R and the growth rate are provided by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), a sub-group of Sage. 

The growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, is between plus 2 per cent and plus 4 per cent for the UK as a whole. 

Daily Covid-19 cases rose by 50% last week in England, ONS estimates 

Daily coronavirus infections in England surged by 50 per cent last week so that almost 52,000 people were catching the virus every day and one in every 100 people in the country were infected with Covid-19 a week ago.

An Office for National Statistics expert said cases are ‘rising steeply in England’ as estimates published today showed the number of people catching the virus has almost doubled in a fortnight again and more than 568,000 people were infected at any one time last week.

The report predicted that 51,900 people caught Covid-19 every day in England last week, up from 35,200 per day the week before and 27,900 the week before that. It said the total number of people infected was thought to be 568,100, up from 433,300 seven days before.

ONS experts warned ‘the number of infections continues to increase’, and added: ‘There has been growth in all age groups over the past two weeks; older teenagers and young adults continue to have the highest current rates while rates appear to be steeply increasing among secondary school children.’

The weekly update is far lower than the shocking Government-funded REACT study which this week hit headlines by claiming there were 96,000 new cases per day, which was approaching levels seen in the first wave. 

The most likely value is towards the middle of that range, according to the experts.

SAGE said the figures published more accurately represent the average situation over the past few weeks rather than the present situation. They are calculated based on infections, deaths and hospital admissions, which can lag by around three weeks.

It means the rate may already be higher across swathes of the UK.

But many experts are hopeful that the imposition of Tier Two and Tier Three restrictions in many areas will have forced the virus into a downward spiral.

A week after the harshest measures were imposed in Liverpool, half of their local authorities started registering falls in infections.

And in Lancashire 11 out of 12 authorities experiencing major outbreaks of the virus saw their infections tail off in the five days after Tier Three restrictions were imposed across the region. 

The ONS warned today that England’s coronavirus outbreak grew by 50 per cent last week.

The weekly update is far lower than the shocking Government-funded REACT study’s estimate the other day, which placed infections a day at 96,000 – approaching the levels seen in the first wave.

Other researchers at King’s College London, however, predicted that England is seeing around 32,000 new symptomatic cases every day and claimed infections are rising ‘steadily’ but ‘have not spiralled out of control’..

Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist behind the King’s study, said the spread of Covid-19 in the UK currently appears ‘steady’ and may even be slowing in Scotland. The team estimated that Britain’s cases are doubling once a month and that the R rate was 1.1 in the week ending October 25.

Despite the varying estimates, Department of Health figures reveal that on average just 22,125 cases per day were identified last week, with a further 23,065 diagnosed yesterday.

Looking back on the numbers of people dying can also give an impression of how widely Covid-19 is spreading. Government officials estimate 0.5 per cent of coronavirus patients die, which suggest the average 154 people who died each day in the week up to October 23 was the result of 31,000 new daily infections at the start of the month.

Professor Spector said the King’s College team, working alongside health-tech company ZOE, wanted to ‘reassure’ people that the situation did not seem to be as bad as ‘other surveys’ had suggested. 

Percentage change in coronavirus cases across London in the week to October 25: The five local authorities where the infection rate grew the most are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 per cent; Derby, 91.84 per cent; North Somerset, 82.99 per cent; Medway, 77.17 per cent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 per cent

 Percentage change in coronavirus cases across London in the week to October 25: The five local authorities where the infection rate grew the most are: Kingston upon Hull City, 92.81 per cent; Derby, 91.84 per cent; North Somerset, 82.99 per cent; Medway, 77.17 per cent; and Bath and North East Somerset 69.72 per cent

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6 million – will be under stricter rules by Monday

Almost 60 per cent of the population – around 32.6 million – will be under stricter rules by Monday

WHERE DID THE INFECTION RATE GROW THE MOST? 

Kingston upon Hull, City of 92.81%

Derby 91.84%

North Somerset 82.99%

Medway 77.17%

Bath and North East Somerset 69.72%

South Gloucestershire 62.13%

Herefordshire, County of 58.10%

Derbyshire 57.98%

Stoke-on-Trent 56.79%

Lincolnshire 55.26%

Staffordshire 55.21%

Leicestershire 54.29%

Southampton 54.02%

Brighton and Hove 52.57%

Milton Keynes 50.88%

Swindon 49.99%

East Riding of Yorkshire 49.32%

Dudley 49.07%

West Sussex 46.89%

Leicester 46.57%

 

It comes after Public Health England data published today revealed Covid-19 outbreaks are growing fastest in Hull, Derby and Bath, and that only 20 of all 150 authorities in England saw a drop in infections last week. 

Hull and Derby saw their coronavirus epidemics almost double in the seven-day spell ending October 25, with seven-day infection rates jumping to 279 and 329 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.

Both cities, along with the rest of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, will be moved from Tier One into Tier Two from Saturday to try and stem the rise in infections, it was announced yesterday as England crept another step closer towards a full national lockdown.

But most of the authorities where epidemics have grown the most remain in Tier One, where only the rule of six and 10pm curfew apply. Scientists have argued these rules are not stringent enough to shrink the outbreak, with top Government advisers warning the current growth is ‘very bleak’.

For example, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset, where cases jumped up 83 per cent and 70 per cent in one week, have yet to be hit by any tougher virus-controlling restrictions. It comes despite warnings that the coronavirus crisis is ‘speeding up’ in the south of the country.

Meanwhile, figures from Public Health England’s weekly surveillance report show the infection rate has fallen in Nottingham by 30 per cent. Despite the city’s outbreak shrinking, it will be thrown under the toughest Tier Three restrictions from tomorrow, along with the rest of the county.

And the data offered more proof that the tightest lockdown measures do work, with Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and St Helens all seeing their weekly coronavirus infection rates drop. All of the Merseyside area has been under Tier Three lockdown since October 14.

It suggests the brutal restrictions — which ban people from socialising with anyone outside their own household and mean many pubs, bars, and in some cases gyms, have to close — are beginning to work. However, scientists say the true effect of measure won’t be clear until a few weeks have passed.

PHE’s data is based on the number of positive swabs within the week October 19 to 25. The new infections can be divided by the population size for each given area to give a case rate per 100,000 people. This allows for figures between different areas to be compared accurately. 

Earlier this week, Derby’s director of public health, Dr Robyn Dewis, called for all the city’s 259,000 residents to start adhering to Tier Two restrictions.

The advice came in anticipation of being moved into the higher level, which ministers confirmed last night would be happening. Amber Valley, Bolsover, Derbyshire Dales, Derby City, South Derbyshire, and the whole of High Peak will be moved into Tier Two as of Saturday.

Dr Dewis told MailOnline: ‘I can never feel pleased to be asking our residents to make restrictions in their daily lives, however I do feel that it is urgent that we take action to reduce the spread of the virus.

‘We have seen a rapid growth across the city with all wards affected. Importantly we are now seeing a significant increase in the over 60s who are infected.’

source: dailymail.co.uk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here