The Department of Health continues to publish the Covid-19 reproduction number on a weekly basis.
The current estimate of R is 0.7 – 1.1.
R represents the number of individuals who, on average, will be infected by a single person with the infection. R does not have a fixed value but varies with time, and is likely to be different every day.
When community transmission of the virus is very low, R will no longer be the most important number for the purpose of policy decisions.
In particular, once the number of new cases is sufficiently low in the context of a robust testing programme and test/trace/protect strategy, the number of positive tests per day is likely to be a more important parameter.
At present, R will show a high degree of volatility and be heavily influenced by small local clusters, and is therefore not the key indicator for policy decisions.
Notes to editors:
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