The reproduction rate was last week estimated to be between one and 1.4.
London is now doing relatively well compared with the rest of the UK. The capital’s coronavirus reproduction rate is now estimated to be between 0.9 and 1.2, with a growth rate between minus two per cent and plus three per cent. Last week the estimate for the capital was between 1.1 and 1.4.
An R number above one means the coronavirus epidemic is growing. Specifically, an R number between 1.2 and 1.3 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 13 other people.
According to the latest figures from Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies), the South West and North West are seeing the most rapid acceleration of infections, with an R number of between 1.2 and 1.5 in each region.
Latest R-rate data from Sage
England 1.1 to 1.3
East of England 1.0 to 1.3
London 0.9 to 1.2
Midlands 1.2 to 1.4
North East and Yorkshire 1.1 to 1.3
North West 1.2 to 1.5
South East 1.0 to 1.2
South West 1.2 to 1.5
Earlier on Friday, researchers from Cambridge University indicated that London’s R rate had already dropped below one, in a sign that the lockdown is beginning to have an effect.
They also estimated that up to 36 per cent of Londoners may have already had the virus - the highest of any region in the UK.
The capital has been one of the regions hit hardest by the new mutation of coronavirus, with hospitals stretched to breaking point.