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The r number

(3 Posts)
varian Fri 22-Jan-21 18:53:07

Way back at the beginning of our first lockdown, it was explained to us that the r number indicates the number of people likely to be infected by one person. For instance if it is 1.5, 10 infected people are likely to infect 15 people, and so the incidence of covid infection would rise, whereas if r=0.5 the 10 infected people would probably infect only 5 people and so the number of cases would decrease.

We know that if we are in lockdown, any relaxation in restrictions will inevitably increase the r number. In the summer everything was opened up at once, and mixing was positively encouraged by schemes such as "Eat out to help out". The result was an increase in infections, hospital admissions and deaths, leading to more lockdowns.

Surely a responsible policy would be -firstly not to relax the rules until the r number in all parts of the country is equal to or less than 0.5. Secondly the relaxation of all sectors should be phased, there should not be a simultaneous re-openning of education, hospitality and all other sectors of the economy, because each re-opening will cause an increase in the r number

GrannyGravy13 Fri 22-Jan-21 19:24:25

I totally agree Varian personally I cannot foresee any relaxation of guidelines before Easter maybe even end April/May.

varian Sat 23-Jan-21 14:22:59

The UK’s coronavirus epidemic may be shrinking, as the R number – the number of people each person with covid-19 infects – was found to be at or below 1.0 for the first time since early December. The latest official estimate for the R number puts it at between 0.8 and 1.0. Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics’ random swab testing survey indicate the number of new cases may be levelling off slightly across England, Wales and Scotland, although cases still appear to be rising sharply in Northern Ireland. An estimated one in 55 people in England had the virus in the week up to 16 January, compared to one in 50 people two weeks earlier. In Northern Ireland, the estimated infection rate jumped from one in 200 in the previous survey to one in 60 in the most recent one. Equivalent figures for Wales and Scotland in the most recent week were one in 70 and one in 100 people estimated to have had the virus.