UK Covid R rate drops below 1 – Metro.co.uk

A woman wearing a mask walks along Brixton Road at Brixton in the borough of Lambeth

A woman wearing a mask walks along Brixton Road at Brixton in the borough of Lambeth (Picture: NurPhoto)

The R rate of the coronavirus in Britain has now fallen below 1, according to scientists on the Covid Symptom Study.

It is now 0.9, they believe, meaning the ‘end is in sight’ for the second wave of the virus.

Epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector said the rate was now the lowest it has been since August and is now below 36,000 new cases per day.

Estimates come from health reports made by users of the Covid Symptom Study app, official data and coronavirus test results.

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Mr Spector said today: ‘Today’s ZOE app data shows rates of new disease falling slowly below 36k with R of 0.9 in all nations but midlands getting worse.

‘We expect long lag before deaths drop. Need to be wary of disease moving from population to hospital and care homes as happened in late spring.’

Last week SAGE said the R rate was between 1.1 and 1.3.

The R rate is an indication of how fast the virus is spreading. It means the number of people each infected person passes the virus onto.

The Daily Mail reported Professor Spector said: ‘The data shows that the second wave peaked at the end of October when it was 1.1.

‘The number of new cases in the worst affected area, the North West, are now at the same level they were at the beginning of October and have an R value of 0.8. 

‘This is great news for the UK, and suggests that the population’s behaviour was already having an impact before the further lockdown restrictions were brought in. With the numbers coming down and the news of a vaccine, it feels more and more like the end is in sight.’

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