The Coronavirus infection rate in the UK has increased according to government scientific advice.
The infection rate, known as ‘R’, needs to be kept below one in order to better stay control of cases. According to official estimates by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the ‘R’ rate now sits between 0.7 and 1.0 in the UK.
The change does not factor in changes to lockdown measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday, which have led to some people returning to work on packed public transport services.
The ‘R’ rate had been between 0.5 and 0.9. While the ‘R’ rate is below 1, the virus is shrinking – above 1, the outbreak is growing.
The rate is estimated using data from hospitalizations, intensive care demand in hospitals, the number of deaths and the number of social contacts people have. Estimates of the ‘R’ number are though difficult because of a time lag between infections and data being collected.
On Sunday, Boris Johnson set out the government’s plan for easing lockdown measures but said it was conditional and depended on the ‘R’ rate of the virus.