The coronavirus infection rate has fallen slightly over the past week, expert predict, while the number of cases reported across the UK has risen fairly significantly

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Coronavirus in numbers: UK records a further 100 deaths

The coronavirus infection rate in England has dropped very slightly over the past week yet cases continue to rise.

The R rate in the country is now 1.0 to 1.1, down from 1.0 to 1.2 last week.

Seven days before that it was as low as 0.8, experts estimated.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially. When it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

An R number between 0.9 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 12 other people.

Over the past week coronavirus cases have increased significantly.








The coronavirus R rate has fallen slightly
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)



Across the UK there were 238,505 cases over the past week, a rise of 11{d076f48f335fad70bc9a39ddaab4bad3d03a322aeed29a268fc77d385b74453a} compared to the seven days before.

Here’s what the R rate is in each region of England:

East of England – 1.0 to 1.1 (down from 0.9 to 1.2)

London – 0.9 to 1.1 (unchanged)

Midlands – 0.9 to 1.1 (down from 0.9 to 1.2)

North-east and Yorkshire – 0.9 to 1.0 (down from 0.9 to 1.1)

North-west – 0.9 to 1.1 (unchanged)

South-east – 0.9 to 1.2 (unchanged)

South west – 1.0 to 1.2 (up from 0.9 to 1.2)












The vaccine has kept coronavirus deaths lower than they might otherwise be
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Image:

REUTERS)



A further 770 people lost their lives to the virus during the same time period which – while relative to cases much lower than before the vaccine was rolled out – is an increase of 14{d076f48f335fad70bc9a39ddaab4bad3d03a322aeed29a268fc77d385b74453a} compared to the week before.

New figures have today shown that growing numbers of local areas across the UK are recording their highest rates of new cases of Covid-19 since comparable records began, as the third wave of coronavirus continues to pick up pace across the country.

Parts of Scotland, Wales and south-west England are all experiencing case rates higher than at any point since mass testing was first introduced in summer 2020, while areas of Northern Ireland hit a new peak in recent days.







The R rate across the country



The figures come amid warnings of a further increase in the spread of the virus in coming weeks, with pupils either back at school or soon to return, a bank holiday weekend about to begin in all nations except Scotland, and a busy calendar of sport and music events likely to attract large crowds.

Analysis of the latest data for new cases of Covid-19, compiled by the PA news agency, shows that:

– In Scotland, 14 out of 32 local authorities are currently experiencing their highest rates on record, with West Dunbartonshire in front on 790.1 cases per 100,000 people for the week to August 22, followed by East Dunbartonshire (668.5) and East Renfrewshire (651.7). Scotland’s overall rate of new cases is also at a record level, at 431.5 per 100,000.

– Three areas of Wales are currently at a record high: Pembrokeshire (407.1), Powys (292.4) and Ceredigion (286.7). Wales as a whole is currently recording 354.8 cases per 100,000 people – the highest rate since January 11.








Some local areas are seeing sharp rises in cases
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Image:

Getty Images)



– Mid & East Antrim is the only area in Northern Ireland currently with record case rates (590.9), but Fermanagh & Omagh (1,047.4) and Derry City & Strabane (968.2) currently have the two highest rates in the whole of the UK, and both areas hit a new peak in recent days. Northern Ireland’s overall rate stands at 629.3, the highest since January 5.

– In England, five areas are currently seeing record-high rates. Four are in the South West: Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (828.1), Sedgemoor in Somerset (747.7), West Devon (741.0) and Torridge in Devon (618.5). Ryedale in North Yorkshire is also at a record high of 390.1. England as a whole has the lowest rate of the four nations, at 331.4 – the highest since July 25.





England is the only one of the four nations where rates are currently rising slowly rather than sharply, and is some way from hitting the sort of levels seen last month, when case rates peaked at 543.5 on July 19.

All four nations have now experienced a similarly “shaped” third wave, however.