UK – A shrinking epidemic – R rate between 0.8 and 1.0


Across the UK, the epidemic is falling by between 1% and 3% a day, according to the latest estimates from Sage.

The R values in England, Scotland and Wales are all believed to be between 0.8 and 1.0.

It’s the first time since September that Sage believe that there’s a good chance that infections are falling in every region in England. While official estimates of R in Northern Ireland are around 1, the good news is that infections have been falling since the start of the month, and are lower than the rest of the UK.

Scientists say that these are the two numbers to keep an eye on.

The infection rates from surveys like the one led by the ONS tell us how good or bad things are – how many people have the virus.

And R tells us whether the epidemic is growing (above 1) or shrinking (below 1) – and where we can expect the infection rates to go next.

Falling infections in England, Scotland and Wales are good news – they mean fewer deaths in weeks to come – but infection levels in the three nations are still roughly where they were in the middle weeks of October.


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