Crucial coronavirus R rate is back above 1 in some parts of England

THE crucial coronavirus R rate has crept back up above 1 in some parts of England, latest figures show.

Research by Public Health England and Cambridge University suggests the reproduction rate is 1.01 in the North West and 1.0 in the South West.

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But the Government's scientific advisers believe the rate of coronavirus transmission has not breached the crucial value of one, despite evidence it is very close in some regions.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government's chief scientific adviser, said the R-rate for England was between 0.7 and 1 but remained between 0.7 and 0.9 for the UK as a whole.

The R-number is the average number of people that will contract coronavirus from an infected person – and the Government say it's vital it stays below 1.

Sir Patrick said the prevalence of Covid-19 was on a "downward trajectory" in the UK, adding: "The prevalence of coronavirus, according to the ONS, is at 0.1%, with 53,000 people with Covid-19 in the past two weeks."

He said the incidence rate was at 0.7% per week, which meant there were "roughly" 39,000 new coronavirus cases each week.

Sir Patrick said: "The latest R-value calculation is between 0.7 and 0.9 for the UK as a whole, it may be a little bit higher in England it may be between 0.7 and 1, and there is a bit of regional variation."

He said there could be "some places" where the R-value is very close to one.

It comes after the number of people with Covid-19 in England has fallen to around 5,600 new infections a day from around 8,000 reported last week, figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data on how many people at any one time are infected with Covid-19 based on swab results from households across the country.

The ONS said "modelling of the trend over time shows evidence that the number of people in England testing positive has decreased in recent weeks".

There were an estimated 39,000 new Covid-19 infections per week in England between April 26 and May 30, equating to an incidence rate per week of 0.07 new cases per 100 people.

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