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12th Feb 2021

Coronavirus ‘R rate’ drops below 1 for the first time since last summer

The Covid-19 R rate has fallen below 1 for the first time since July 2020, it has been confirmed. The UK's overall R rate is between 0.7 and 0.9

Alex Roberts

A step in the right direction

The Covid-19 R rate has fallen below 1 for the first time since July 2020, it has been confirmed.

R stands for the average number of people infected by an individual person with coronavirus. For the first time since last summer, the UK’s overall R rating has dropped below 1 – currently sitting between 0.7 and 0.9.

The spread of coronavirus across the UK has been largely managed regionally. At times, Manchester and the North West have been placed under different restrictions to other parts of England, for example.

While London was at one point the Covid-19 hotspot of the entire nation, its R rate of 0.6-0.8 is now among the lowest in England.

According to the government’s own website, “an R value between 0.7 and 0.9 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 7 and 9 other people.

“These estimates represent the transmission of Covid-19 over the past few weeks due to the time delay between someone being infected, having symptoms, and needing healthcare.”

The figures can be interpreted as evidence that lockdown seems to be working, at least in reducing the rate of Covid-19 transmission.

Back in early January, there were some 50-70,000 new Covid-19 cases registered very single day. As a contrast, on February 11th, there were just 13,500 new cases of coronavirus reported.

Hospital admissions appear to be falling, too.

Data released on February 9th showed the number of patients in hospital with coronavirus to be 25,621. This is a 35 per cent drop from the January 18th figure of 39,236 on 18 January.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is also at its lowest since 29 December.

The economic impact of restrictions continues to be devastating, however.

The UK economy is currently experiencing its worst slump since 1709.

Business leaders across the UK are putting pressure on the government to reopen industries, but the country’s medical experts still believe there is a long way to go before life returns to normal.