UK’s coronavirus reproduction number rises slightly

Posted 5 days ago by Yadab Devkota

Britain’s coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has edged up slightly, the latest government figures showed Friday.

The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the R number is now between 1.3 and 1.5, up from last week which was between 1.2 and 1.5.

The R number is one of many indicators scientists use to determine how fast COVID-19 is spreading in the country.

Reproduction rate means the average number of people each person with coronavirus goes on to infect. Therefore, an R number of between 1.3 and 1.5 means on average every 10 people with the virus will infect between 13 and 15 others.

If the R number is above one, it means the number of cases will increase exponentially.

Another 18,980 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 673,622, according to official figures released Thursday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 138 to 43,293, the data showed.

The latest R number was announced as London, along with some other areas, are placed in the “high” level of the government’s alert system.

Under the Tier Two of the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s three-level COVID-19 alert system, millions of Londoners will face tougher measures from Saturday with different households banned from meeting in indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.

Meanwhile, Lancashire will join Liverpool and move into Tier Three, the top level of England’s COVID restrictions from Saturday.

The “very high” alert level means pub closures and bans on household mixing indoors, in private gardens and most outdoor venues.

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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