ENGLAND’S R rate drops below 1 for the first time in SEVEN months
According to the latest data released by Covid experts at SAGE, the R rate in England – that is, the number of individuals each person with coronavirus will infect – has finally dropped below one for the first time since July 2020, indicating that the country is well on its way to beating the third wave of the virus. The figures show that while the R rate in England is currently between 0.7 and 0.9, it is still only reaching 1.0 across the UK as a whole.
‘Estimates of the R value are below 1 in all NHS regions of England, although the upper limit of these ranges are at 1.0 for the North East and Yorkshire, and the North West,’ SAGE said in a statement.
‘Although R is at or below 1 in all regions, there may be more variation in transmission within each region.’
This is extremely good news, and a testament to the fact that the UK as a whole has been racing towards its Covid vaccine rollout targets.
Professor Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s and the lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Symptom Study app, said: ‘We are making good progress against this virus, with 10million vaccinations done and cases down by 70 per cent since the peak at the beginning of the year.
‘On top of that, we are also seeing hospital admissions from COVID drop too.
The Government confirmed on Friday, February 5, that it still intends to have vaccinated all nine priority groups, some 32million people and all those in the over 50s category, by the beginning of May 2021.
A Whitehall source added: ‘If the vaccine programme goes the way we think it will go, then you will start to see quite a quick return to normal in April and May.’
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