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Coronavirus ‘R’ rate for East of England may be falling

Newly published figures show that the reproduction rate of COVID-19 is likely to be falling in the east of England.
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The R rate in the east of England is thought to have dropped (Picture: PA Media)

The reproduction rate, commonly referred to as R, is the average number of people that someone with coronavirus will infect. If the number is below one cases will decline, and if above one cases will increase.

The government figure for the nation as a whole is between 0.7 and 1, but it has not regularly published regional numbers.

Manchester's mayor, Andy Burnham, revealed regional R numbers on social media yesterday, "in the absence of a Government commitment to do so".

These figures show that the east of England R rate is thought to be between 0.5 and 0.8 and is likely to be decreasing. If accurate, that would mean the number of people with coronavirus in the region will halve every eight days.

However, these estimates (from the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases) are as of May 18, so the rate may have changed since this information was gathered.