18 Sep Coronavirus: R number increases to between 1.1 and 1.4 | UK News
The coronavirus transmission rate could now be as high as 1.4 in the UK, official figures show.
The R (reproduction) number is between 1.1 and 1.4, according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), showing there is “widespread growth of the epidemic across the country”.
This means the number of new coronavirus infections is growing by between 2% and 7% every day.
Last week’s estimate for the R number was between 1.0 and 1.2 – the first time it rose above 1.0 since early March.
The R number represents the average number of people each person with coronavirus goes on to infect.
So a reproduction rate of between 1.1 and 1.4 means that on average, every 10 people who have the virus will go on to infect between 11 and 14 others.
Scientists advising the government say the R number needs to remain below 1.0 to keep the pandemic under control.
Cases across the UK have spiked dramatically in recent weeks. Yesterday, there were 3,395 confirmed and 3,991 the day before.
Ministers are currently considering another nationwide lockdown, with COVID-19 hospital admissions “doubling every seven to eight days”.
The government is concerned more young people getting the virus is leading to an increase in infection among the elderly and vulnerable.
This would put pressure on the NHS during the winter months – its busiest time of the year.