R number stays steady but still at high of 1.4 in England

The coronavirus reproduction number, or R value, in England remains unchanged from last week and is between 1.2 and 1.4, according to the latest Government figures.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

An R number between 1.2 and 1.4 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people.

A report released earlier this week showed data from nearly 110,000 swab tests carried out across England between May 20 and June 7 suggests Covid-19 cases are doubling every 11 days, with the highest prevalence in the North West and on average one in 670 people are infected.


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The experts from Imperial College London said their findings show a “rapid switch” between the Alpha (Kent) variant, which first appeared in the UK in September 2020, and the Delta variant in the last few weeks, with the latter accounting for up to 90% of all coronavirus cases.Health officials now believe the Delta variant - previously known as the Indian variant - accounts for as much as 99% of all new cases of Covid.