UK R rate edges down to 1.2-1.5 but government scientists cautious

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask crosses the road in the City of London financial district amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain September 23, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The UK’s reproduction “R” number of COVID-19 has edged down to 1.2-1.5 from 1.3-1.6, government scientists said on Friday, adding there was still widespread growth of the epidemic across the country.

An R number between 1.2 and 1.5 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people. The daily infection growth rate was between +4% to +9%, compared to +5% to +9% a week ago.

“There is still widespread growth of the epidemic across the country,” the Government Office for Science said.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by William James