England’s coronavirus R rate may have risen above 1, scientists advising the government have said.
R measures the number of people, on average, that each sick person will infect.
Official figures published on Friday suggest the R rate is between 0.8 and 1.1. Last week it was between 0.8 and 1.0.
If R is greater than 1 the epidemic is generally seen to be growing; if R is less than 1 the epidemic is shrinking.
An R value between 0.8 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between eight and 11 other people.
The estimate is provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Here’s what the R rate is in each region of England
In England, the R rate is 0.8 to 1.1
East of England – 0.8 to 1.1 (unchanged)
London – 0.8 to 1.1 (unchanged)
Midlands – 0.7 to 1.0 (up from 0.7 to 0.9)
North-east and Yorkshire – 8 to 1.0 (up from 0.7 to 1.0)
North-west – 0.7 to 0.9 (unchanged)
South-east – 8 to 1.0 (up from 0.7 to 0.9)
South west – 8 to 1.2 (up from 0.7 to 1.1)
Despite the latest official figures suggesting R has creeped above one, separate data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published on Friday suggested number of people in England estimated to have Covid has dropped 40% in a week.
The data, which covers private households, shows an estimated 54,200 people were likely to have tested positive in the week to April 24, down from 90,000 the previous week.
This means around one in 1,010 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to April 24, down from one in 610.
It is the lowest figure since the week to September 5, when the estimate stood at one in 1,400.