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210305 | UK’s Covid-19 R rate rises for first time since January | overall level has increased despite the ongoing lockdown

UK Covid-19 R rate rises for the first time since January

The overall level has increased despite the ongoing lockdown

5 March 2021

By Feargal Brennan

The UK’s Covid-19 R rate has risen slightly this week in a first increase in levels since the middle of January.

The latest figure has edged up to between 0.7 to 0.9, in comparison to 0.6 to 0.9 from the week ending February 26, which broadly translates as an average of 10 infected people transmitting the virus to between seven and nine others.

This increase is the biggest rise since the rate jumped from 1.0 to 1.2 on January 15.

The R rate, which refers to the anticipated number infection people based on one infected person, has maintained a consistent level of below 1.0 in the last seven weeks.

However, this slight spike will be a concern for public health officials, as England prepares to begin its first stage of the lockdown easing from Monday.

With the reopening of primary and secondary schools as the principal feature of the incoming changes, the R rate is anticipated to rise up, due to mass testing of students.

The latest growth in infection rates has also changed, based on the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, with a shrinkage of between 3% and 5% per day, down from 6% and 2% last week.

Death rates from Covid-19 across the UK have also declined this week, as per reports from the Daily Mirror, with 242 deaths reported yesterday compared to 323 from that time last week, a drop of 35%.