The coronavirus infection rate could now be as low as 0.6 in the UK.

The latest R estimate for the whole of the UK is between 0.6 and 0.9, the Department for Health and Social care announced.

The growth rate estimate is now between -6 per cent and -3 per cent, meaning new coronavirus cases are dropping by up to 6 per cent each day.

The last time the growth rate was this low was at the beginning of July.

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Last week the R rate dropped to levels last seen in July

Last week the R rate dropped to levels last seen in July
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

The biggest decreases are in London and the South East, where the growth rate is between -8 and -5 percent and -9 and -5 per cent respectively.

This compares to the East of England (-0.7 to -0.4 per cent), the Midlands (-7 to -3 per cent), North East and Yorkshire (-5 to -1 per cent), North West (-7 to -3 per cent) and the South West (-7 to -3 per cent).

The R rate has been moving in the right direction for some weeks now.

Last Friday data showed that it had fallen to between 0.7 and 0.9.

The last time the R number fell below 1 was in the week of July 31, where it ranged between 0.8-0.9.

If the R value is at 1, it means that each person with Covid-19 is infecting one other person, on average.

Yesterday Public Health England released its Covid-19 Surveillance Report showing the infection rate was falling in all areas of England and across all age groups.

Positive cases recorded are now as low as they were in September, which is better than anytime in the past four months.

By comparison, at the end of 2020 around 350,000 positive tests were returned in a single week, whereas that figure is now down to around 70,000.

As much as things are now going in the right direction, the UK is not out of the woods, with the death rate remaining high.

Yesterday 738 deaths were added to the UK total.

 

The infection rate is dropping in all parts of England, according to PHE

The infection rate is dropping in all parts of England, according to PHE
(Image: PA)

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said, said the falling numbers were not a reason for people to be less diligent.

“Our efforts are working as case rates, hospitalisation rates and deaths are slowly falling,” she said.

“The number of new infections is higher than the end of September and remains concerning.

“This could increase very quickly if we do not follow the current measures.

“Although it is difficult, we must continue to stay home and protect lives.”

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