A study using an epidemiological research mobile app has forecast the R rate in the UK has dropped below one for the first time during the second wave of coronavirus. The modelling based on the ZOE Covid Symptom Study suggests the level of transmission is now down to 0.9 – meaning the virus is slowing down.
The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) had estimate the rate of transmission was between 1.1 and 1.3 during the latest round of weekly figures released on November 6.
The higher rate of 1.3 means for every 10 people infected with the virus they will pass it on to 13 more individuals.
In a post on Twitter, Tim Spector, Principal Investigator of the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app, indicated the number of daily cases in the UK had fallen to 36,000.
A detailed graphic of the UK showed a downward curve in most areas, including the north east of England.
The map showed the Midlands was the only region not to see a fall in positive cases.
Mr Spector said: “According to ZOE app New cases down slightly to 36,000 daily across UK as R falls to 0.9 for the first time in 2nd wave.
“Clear that peak has passed in most areas now – although the Midlands is bucking trend and going in wrong direction.”
The estimated R rate made by the Government’s scientific advisory team suggested the north west of England had the lowest transmission levels and was between 1.0 and 1.1.
If found the south east and south west of England ad the highest levels of between 1.2 and 1.4.
The slowdown in the spread of coronavirus comes less than 24 hours after a major breakthrough was made in the search for a vaccine.
The Government has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, with 10 million doses being manufactured and available to the UK by the end of the year – if the vaccine is approved by regulators.
This covers 20 million people because the vaccine needs two doses.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said care home residents and staff would be given first priority for any jab.
Other candidates would then be based on age and risk to the virus.
This is a developing news story, more to follow.