Covid: R number increases to 1.3-1.6 as cases across England rise

An R number of 1.3 and 1.6 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 13 and 16 other people. Credit: PA

The R number of coronavirus in England has risen from between 1.2-1.5 last week to 1.3-1.6, latest data from the government shows.

Every regions across the country now has an R number of 1 or higher, which means there is widespread growth of the virus across the country.

An R number of 1.3 and 1.6 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 13 and 16 other people.

The growth rate has also increased to +5% and +9%, which means the number of new infections is growing by 5% to 9% every day.

When the R number is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially. If that number is below 1 it means the disease is shrinking among the population.

The North East and Yorkshire, along with London, are areas where the virus is spreading fastest.

The R number for the North East and Yorkshire is between 1.2-1.6, with growth between +4% to +9% a day.

Covid cases in teenagers and young children is rising at a time when they are returning to schools and university. Credit: PA

London’s R number is 1.2-1.6, with the disease growth rate at around +3% to +9% per day.

The North West, which has seen stringent new restrictions to limit the spread of the disease, has an R number between 1.2-1.5 and a growth rate percentage of +4% to +8% per day.

The South East and East of England are areas where growth of the disease is lowest, with R number of between 1.1-1.4 and 1.0-1.3 respectively.

ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan explains what the latest rise in the R number means

Sage has warned while there are some early indications that suggest the growth of the epidemic might be slowing, it is too early to draw firm conclusions.

The scientific advisers said “it is still highly likely that the epidemic is growing exponentially across the country” and more data is needed to accurately assess recent changes in coronavirus transmission.

“Over the next few weeks, it will be important that we understand this in the UK and do not become complacent,” they added.

(PA Graphics) Credit: PA Graphics

Increased growth of the disease in England comes as the UK recorded three of its highest ever number of daily coronavirus cases this week.

More than 7,000 infections were recorded on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Thursday’s figure fell just short with more than 6,900 daily recorded cases.

However experts have warned that the number of infections recorded in April and May may be skewed due to the lack of testing capacity early during the pandemic.