UK coronavirus R value and growth rate remain the same

Data suggests there are slight changes in the English regions, but for the UK as whole the figures are unchanged.

A coronavirus social distancing sign
A coronavirus social distancing sign

The rate of spread of the coronavirus infection across the UK, and the R number, remain the same as last week.

The growth rate remains at minus 4% to minus 2% per day while the reproduction number, referred to as R, remains at 0.7 to 0.9.

Both figures are unchanged from when they were published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Friday.

However, there have been slight changes in the regional data.

While the R value for England remains at 0.7 to 0.9, the growth rate has changed from minus 4% to minus 1%, to minus 5% to minus 2%.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The R values and growth rate for the following regions are:

– East of England: 0.7-0.9, minus 6% to 0%

This is a change from minus 6% to minus 1%, suggesting the rate of spread may be growing in the area.

– London: 0.6-0.9, minus 6% to 0%

This is a change from 0.7–1.0, and minus 5% to plus 1%, indicating the rate of spread is shrinking.

– Midlands: 0.7-0.9 (from 0.8–1.0), with an unchanged growth rate of minus 4% to 0%

– North East and Yorkshire: 0.7-0.9, minus 4% to 0%, changed from minus 5% to minus 1%

– North West: 0.7–1.0, minus 5% to 0%, changed from minus 4% to 0%

– South East: 0.7–0.9, minus 6% to minus 1%, shrinking from minus 5% to minus 1%

– South West: 0.6-0.9, minus 7% to 0%, also shrinking from minus 6% to 0%

The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, and, as the number of infections decreases, is more reliable way of keeping track of the virus.

If the growth rate is greater than zero, and therefore positive, then the disease will grow, and if the growth rate is less than zero, then the disease will shrink.

It is an approximation of the change in the number of infections each day and the size of the growth rate indicates the speed of change.

The R value of the disease indicates the average number of people an infected person is likely to pass it on to.

R estimates do not indicate how quickly an epidemic is changing and different diseases with the same R can result in epidemics that grow at very different speeds.

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