Coronavirus UK Update: Covid-19 R rate drops below 1 in South East England and London

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Coronavirus UK Updates: Minister hints those who cannot work from home should get jab priority
Coronavirus UK Updates: Minister hints those who cannot work from home should get jab priority

The number of Covid-19 infections across England is falling as a whole – with the R-rate dropping below one in the south east.

Short for the reproductive rate, the R rate measures the average number of people that an infection could pass to another – if below 1, then the number of cases are declining.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is due to release its own figures later, while Government scientists will release their own R rate, which refers to the number of people an infected person will pass the virus on to.

Notably, the Cambridge researchers said regions with a current R rate below 1 are the South East, London, East of England, West Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

The team suggests the proportion of the population who have ever been infected could stand at 30 per cent in London, 26 per cent in the North West and 21 per cent in the North East, dropping to 13 per cent in the South East and 8% in the South West.

They added: “The growth rate for England is now estimated to be -0.02 per day. This means that, nationally, the number of infections is declining but with a high degree of regional variation.

“Infections are still increasing in the South West and North East, whilst plateauing in the West Midlands and East Midlands.”

The team also predicts that the number of deaths occurring daily is likely to be between 518 and 860 on January 28.

It comes as Public Health England (PHE) released data on Wednesday showing infection rates had fallen in most regions of England across all age groups apart from the over-80s.

At the same time, however, the PHE surveillance report noted that there were more people being admitted to hospitals and intensive care units.

NHS England data shows that around one in five major hospital trusts in England had no spare adult critical care beds on January 10.

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