THE Government has announced the most recent figures showing the all-important R rate.

The reproduction number of Covid-19, referred to as R, for the UK as a whole is between 0.8 to 0.9.

The growth rate of coronavirus transmission in the UK remains remains unchanged since last week but there are early indications that these values may be increasing, according to the Government.

There are some regional variations between the figures.

The South East, which includes the Isle of Wight, has a growth rate of minus 3 per cent to zero, compared with minus 3 per cent to plus 1 per cent last week. The R value in the region is 0.8 to 1.0.

Figures published today by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) revealed the growth rate to be between minus 4 per cent to minus 1 per cent.

In England, the R is between 0.8 and one, but Sage has indicated it is not confident that R is currently below one.

The estimates for R and growth rate are provided by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), a subgroup of Sage.

It said: “A growth rate between minus 1 per cent to minus 4 per cent means the number of new infections is shrinking by between 1 per cent to 4 per cent every day.

“However, we are starting to see early indications that these values may be increasing.

“This is not yet reflected in these estimates because the data used to calculate R and growth rate reflect the situation from a few weeks ago.”

The figures for both R and growth rate are calculated using different models, with data gathered from multiple sources, such as hospital admissions and deaths, admissions to the intensive care unit, as well as epidemiological data.

A time delay between initial infection and the need for hospital care usually means it may take between two to three weeks for the changes in the spread of Covid-19 to be reflected in the estimates.

But models that use Covid-19 testing data, which have less of a time delay, indicate higher values for R in England, the Government Office for Science statement said.

It added: “For this reason, Sage does not have confidence that R is currently below one in England."