UK R Number

18 December 2020

I saw an interesting headline on BBC news:

“Coronavirus: UK R number back above one.”

I was curious about what is this “R” number.       

Extracts of the report:

The UK's R - or reproduction - number is now estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.2, meaning the coronavirus epidemic is growing once again. 

Covid-19 cases have risen to an estimated 660,000 infections across the UK between 6-12 December. Weekly cases have gone up by about a fifth.

The R number tells you how fast the epidemic is growing or shrinking. Anything above one - indicating that each infection leads to more than one extra infection - means the epidemic is growing.                                                                                                                            

Prof Neil Ferguson, the influential epidemiologist from Imperial College London: "[I am] more concerned about what we're going to be facing in early January than I am over the Christmas period itself… We're facing very rapid increases in case numbers over time and we have very little headroom - we've heard reports today that local hospitals really are at their limits at the moment - as is typically the case in winter. So we just won't be able to allow case numbers to rise much further."

Across the UK, restrictions are about to be loosened over the Christmas period.

Prof Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said this policy, "increasingly looks like the wrong decision at the wrong time. 

My Prayer:

Lord may they do what is Right to bring down their R number; otherwise they will certainly have a much more deadly winter. Mercy, Lord, I pray for mercy.



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