Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

UK COVID-19 outbreak on decline: Indicator

R figure now at lowest in 7 months with 0.7-0.9, according to Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies

Muhammad Mussa   | 12.02.2021
UK COVID-19 outbreak on decline: Indicator

LONDON 

The novel coronavirus outbreak in the UK could now be on the decline, a key indicator on disease transmissions appeared to suggest Friday.

The R value of the coronavirus has fallen below one for the first time since July last year, according to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Currently standing at 0.7-0.9 with the latest growth rate range remaining between minus 5% to minus 2%, the R value is a mechanism used to rate the virus's ability to spread, with R being the number of people to which one infected person will likely pass on the virus.

Sage also estimated that the R value for all NHS regions across England had fallen below one, but warned that "prevalence of the virus remains high, so it remains important that everyone continues to stay at home in order to keep the R value down, protect the NHS and help save lives."

The latest update on the R value shows that the rate of new infections is shrinking by 2-5% every day. It also reveals that lockdown restrictions have been somewhat effective in slowing the spread of the virus.

Rapid deployment and administration of vaccines across the country also likely had an impact, with now over 20% of the population having been inoculated against the coronavirus.

On Friday, official data showed that 15,144 people had tested coronavirus positive, with the case count over the past week totaling 102,226. This represents a 26.3% decrease compared to the last seven days.

Meanwhile, 758 people died on Friday within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, making for 5,023 fatalities between Feb. 6 and 12 -- a 27.1% drop in comparison to the previous week.

The total number of people who have tested positive with the virus stands at 3,985,161, including 121,674 who have died as a result of the coronavirus.

By the end of Feb. 11, health professionals had administered the first dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus to 14,012,224 people, with 530,094 receiving the second so far. Vaccines are currently administered in two doses 21 days apart.

The number of people taking COVID-19 tests, however, has fallen to 730,223 by the end of Thursday. On Feb. 5-11, 4,400,044 tests have been taken.

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