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Covid R-rate could be as high as 1.6 as fears grow of exponential rise in cases

England’s Coronavirus R rate has shot through the roof across the country and could be as high as 1.6, according to experts.

Scientists have warned that the killer infection is growing as it’s reproduction rate is levelled at somewhere between 1.2 and 1.6.

The R rate has been measured as being the highest since before England was plunged into lockdown in March.

Millions of Brits are already under restrictions as the government tries to stem the spread of Covid.

But the numbers seem to be creeping up in some areas as last week the R rate sat between 1.2 and 1.5, The Sun reports.

Brits were warned at the start of lockdown that when the figure is above 1 the outbreak grows exponentially.

This week there were 8,400 new cases a day of the disease – with 47 new deaths reported in England on Friday alone.

By comparison, the number of deaths announced a week ago on September 25 was 36, while 18 were reported on September 18 and nine on September 11.

The R rate is a vital figure the measures the number of people an contagious patient goes on to infect.

The latest figures published on Friday by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), show that the R rate for England is between 1.2 and 1.6.

London – where Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for further restrictions – currently has an R rate of 1.2 to 1.6 with a growth rate of three to nine per cent each day.

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The North West has seen a host of local lock downs and its R rate is between 1.2 to 1.5 with a growth rate is between four to eight per cent.

And the R rate in the North East is somewhere between 1.2 to 1.6 with a growth rate of four to nine per cent each day.

The East of England has the lowest R rate, from 1.0 to 1.3, followed by the South West and then South East at 1.1 to 1.4.

Yesterday Middlesborough Mayor Andy Preston vowed to defy the Government’s tougher new restrictions to stop households mixing.

He fumed on Twitter: “We tried to communicate with govt but they didn’t listen.

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"They’re imposing restrictions that’ll kill viable jobs & damage mental health I do not accept the Government’s intended restrictions – they’re based on ignorance."

Around 20 million people across the UK are living under local lockdown restrictions.

Mayors and council leaders warned the ban, in Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, could hit jobs in the hospitality industry.

Meanwhile experts have warned that cases in the UK were flattening due to the new government measures such as the rule of six and stricter face mask rules.

Professor Tim Spector of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London told The Sun Brits need to be cautious ahead of winter.

He said: “We are confident that this flattening in the data looks real and that this might be an early sign of infection rates slowing down.

"This may be due to a number of factors including social distancing and the “rule of six”, but we can’t discount the role of less susceptible people and prior immunity in those exposed and the natural cycle of the virus.

"We still need to continue to work together to make sure this flattening off isn’t a small blip.

"As we head into winter we all need to be cautious and pay attention to the advice we are being given around local restrictions, social distancing and avoiding gathering in large groups. ”

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