Original article from Kent Live
The rate at which coronavirus is spreading across Kent and the South East has increased, according to the latest Government figures.
The official estimate of how quickly the virus is spreading – known as the R rate – has been increased across Kent and the South East.
R calculates a disease's ability to spread by measuring the average number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to. A rate of 1 means that each infected patient passes the virus on to one other person.
Last week the region's R rate stood between 0.7 and 0.9, meaning that less than one person caught Covid-19 for every person infected. In simple terms, it means the spread of the virus was slowing.
But a new estimate released this week now puts the R rate for the South East at 0.7 – 1.0.
The official R estimate provides a range of values. If the South East's true R rate is at the lower end of the scale then infection levels would be falling by around 5%. However, a rate of 1.0 would mean that the infection rate has leveled out and would likely remain flat.
The true values are likely to lie somewhere within the range.
Nationally, the UK's R rate now stands at between 0.7 and 0.9.
The growth R of the virus is estimated to be falling by between 2% and 5% per day.
These figures are an average across the UK. It means that some areas could have a higher rate, while others could have a lower R rate.
In the latest update about new coronavirus cases, the Government said a further 58 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 126,573.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 149,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The Government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 4,715 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.
It brings the total to 4,329,180.
However, NHS England has now vaccinated more than 25 million people with first doses of the vaccine.
Commenting on the achievement Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS national medical director, said: “This is the latest major milestone showing rapid and targeted progress in getting people in England protected against coronavirus.
“Passing the 25 million mark is a remarkable achievement for NHS staff across the country who have jabbed more than half the adult population and are continuing to work carefully to identify those last remaining people in the top priority groups yet to get their jab and urging them to come forward.
“While supplies of doses will be tightened next month, anyone with a second jab booked should come forward, and our other top priority is to remind everyone who is aged 50 and older or who has an underlying health condition that their first jab is available to them, now and throughout April.”
Government data up to March 26 shows that of the 33,020,952 jabs given in the UK so far, 29,727,435 were first doses – a rise of 411,305 on the previous day.
Some 3,293,517 were second doses, an increase of 283,654.