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The Covid-19 ‘R number’ falls to the lowest point since July last year


The COVID-19 reproduction number, or R number, of coronavirus has fallen below 1.0 for the first time since July last year.

The number is currently estimated to be between 0.7 and 0.9 across the UK.


People have said that this is a sign that lockdown restrictions may be having an impact since major new measures were taken at the start of the year.

Scientists that are advising the government gave their most positive outlook for the virus R number since cases fell last July.

The estimates for R and the growth rate are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).


The growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, is between -5% and -2% for the UK as a whole.

However Sage warned: “However, prevalence of the virus remains high, so it remains important that everyone continues to stay at home in order to keep the R value down, protect the NHS and help save lives.”

London had the highest percentage of people testing positive in England, estimated at 1.6% on 6 February.

Senior Statistician Sarah Crofts said: “Rates of infection remain high but have continued to decrease in England and across the UK.

“The percentage of positive cases compatible with the new UK variant also continues to decrease in all regions of England except for Yorkshire and The Humber, the East Midlands and the South West where trends remain uncertain.”


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