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Coronavirus ‘R’ figures for East of England edges closer to 1

PUBLISHED: 08:49 06 June 2020 | UPDATED: 09:05 06 June 2020

People in the streets of Norwich wearing face masks. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

People in the streets of Norwich wearing face masks. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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The reproduction rate of coronavirus for the East of England has risen closer to 1, figures have revealed.

The latest figures from the University of Cambridge and Public Heath England put the R rate for the region at 0.94.

Last week, the R rate was between 0.5 and 0.8.

However, the figures show the East of England has the third lowest R rate while the North West has the highest rate at 1.01.

The North East and Yorkshire have the lowest rate of infection number at 0.89.

The R rate is a measurement of the number of people an infected person passes coronavirus on to.

As an R value below 1.0 means an outbreak is shrinking, the recent set of figures prompts concern.

The speed at which lockdown is eased will depend on the R value.

The study estimated there are 17,000 new infections of Covid-19 across England every day.

A pedestrian wearing a face mask in Norwich amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Denise BradleyA pedestrian wearing a face mask in Norwich amid the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Denise Bradley

It also estimated the number of deaths each day is likely to fall to between 100–250 by mid-June.

Despite the region’s rise in infections, on Friday, Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk County Council’s head of public health, said Norfolk’s rate was in decline.

She stressed the importance of maintaining social distancing as people venture out more under eased lockdown measures.

She also reminded people not to meet indoors, with rain expected this weekend.

MORE: No new coronavirus-related deaths in Norfolk hospitals

Dr Smith said: “The number of infections are still dropping, they are only going to keep dropping if we keep to the rules, the guidelines and social distancing. The risk is much lower outdoors than indoors.

“It is really important people stick to measures and meet outdoors.

“It is a real opportunity now to get back to a more integrated social life and get back to a life close to normal, if we stay cautious.”

She said work was under way to publish an outbreak plan by July and analyse information from the track and trace service launched last week, which aims to cut transmissions through contact tracing.

She said: “It’s up and running and we are seeing people being contacted through the contact tracing. It is early days and the numbers are just starting to come through.

“I would really encourage people to participate in contact tracing.”


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