Reproduction number of COVID-19 could be below one in UK lockdown


The measures introduced by the UK Government to stop the spread of COVID-19 are being followed by a large number of people, and could be driving the disease’s reproduction number to below one, according to preliminary estimates from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

The reproduction number, a key aspect of a disease’s transmission, is the average number of people who will catch a disease from a single infected person. Maintaining the reproduction number to below one means that the epidemic will decline. 

This suggests that the reproduction now would be between 0.37 and 0.89 with the most likely value being 0.62.

Professor John Edmunds from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine who led the research said: “If we see similar changes across the UK population, we would expect to see the epidemic to start to decline.