Official Covid R rate STALLS close to critical 1 as Sage fail to agree UK figure for 2nd week

THE official coronavirus R rate stalled close to the critical 1 in England.

As infections continue to fall across the country the R rate has remained stagnant at 0.8 to 1 for the third week running.

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Infection rates continue to fall in the UK which has lead to stability in the R rate


Infection rates continue to fall in the UK which has lead to stability in the R rateCredit: Alamy
The R rate and growth rate across regions of England


The R rate and growth rate across regions of England

Last week Government advisers at Sage failed to agree on the figure for across the UK because case numbers are so low.

Sage again said today: “No UK estimates for R and growth rate have been agreed.”

The R rate has remained relatively constant and below 1 since February 5, having peaked on January 15 at between 1.2 and 1.3. 

The R rate reflects the outbreak with a slight lag, as it takes up to three weeks for changes in the spread of the disease to be clear.

Therefore the estimates today are unlikely to account for any impact of the Rule of 6, which came into force in England on March 29.

The R represents the number of people an infected person will pass Covid on to, meaning currently, every patient is passing the virus onto less than one other person. 

R must stay below one for the outbreak to shrink. Anything greater than one means the outbreak is growing.

It comes as:


The R number can be suppressed by limiting social contacts which is why lockdowns have been used. 

But as society opens back up, it will undoubtedly rise as people socialise with more friends and family, increasing the risk of Covid spread.

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However with the triumph of vaccines, cases should remain low overall.

The release from Sage comes after experts at the ZOE Symptom Tracker app yesterday revealed their R rate predictions.

The data from the app also estimates that the R rate in the UK is currently at 0.7.

App data states that regional values put England at 0.8, Wales at 0.5 and Scotland at 0.8.

The experts said that the R value reflects the significant drop in cases in the last week.

It was yesterday reported that coronavirus cases have plummeted 32 per cent in a week with 3,030 new infections recorded in the UK.

A further 53 deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 126,980.

The rise in cases brings the total number since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,370,321.

Today’s infection figure is down from last Thursday’s figure of 4,479 – and significantly lower than the 6,219 reported a fortnight ago. 

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Deaths are up very slightly from the 51 reported this time last week, but below the 63 fatalities recorded on March 25.

UK Covid cases plummet 32% in a week as 3,030 more infections are recorded in a day and 53 more deaths



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