The coronavirus reproduction rate could now be as high as one right across the UK after rising slightly in the last week, the Government’s scientific advisers warned today amid fears the virus is making a resurgence. SAGE estimates the R value – the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects – is now between 0.8 and 1.0, up from last week’s prediction that it was hovering around 0.8 and 0.9. Experts say the R needs to stay below one or Governments risk losing control of the epidemic and the virus could spiral back out of control. England as a whole has remained the same at 0.8 to 1.0 (see left, across England), but the R rose in Scotland (0.6 and 1.0), Wales (0.7 and 1.0), Northern Ireland (0.8 and 1.8), London (0.8 and 1.1), the North East and Yorkshire (0.8 and 1.0), and in the Midlands (0.8 and 1.0). SAGE said it was now ‘starting to see early indications that’ coronavirus was on the rise, which has fuelled fears that a second wave of the virus is making its way through the country. Despite the rise, separate Government data today suggested cases could actually be on their way down again after weeks of being on the up. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which tracks the size of the outbreak by swabbing thousands of people, now believes there are 3,700 people in England getting infected with Covid-19 each day. It is 12 per cent down on the 4,200 made in the government-run agency’s estimate last week (pictured bottom right). Pictured top left, the latest growth rate for the whole of the UK is between 0 to -5 per cent, which means the number of new infections is somewhere between remaining stable and shrinking by five per cent every day.
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