UK R RATE falls to its LOWEST ever number while Covid infections drop by 20 per cent in a week
A raft of information presented on Friday, February 19 suggests that the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK has been beaten back into retreat, with top scientific advisors to the government suggesting that the all-important R rate – the number of people each individual with Covid could potentially infect – has fallen to between 0.6 and 0.9, down below the vital figure of one, which shows that the health situation is beginning to stabilise.
In addition, the number of new Covid-19 infections continues to drop by about 20 per cent week-on-week, with 12,027 new coronavirus cases reported on Friday and a further 533 deaths. On another positive note, hospital pressure is also easing with less than half the number of patients recorded in February as last month.
The news comes as Tory MPs and Covid experts alike put additional pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to relax the current restrictions early, imploring the PM to stick to his promise of being led by ‘data not dates.’
Edinburgh University expert in infectious disease, Mark Woolhouse, told MPs on Wednesday, February 17: ‘if you’re driven by the data and not by dates, right now, you should be looking at earlier unlocking’.
Mr Johnson is set to unveil his infamous ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown on February 22, where he will ditch the old Tier system in favour of a new three-stage national plan. The Prime Minister has insisted that the new measures will be “prudent” but that he is very “optimistic” that this may be the last lockdown the people of the UK have to endure.
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