The growth of the coronavirus in the south west is expected to slow considerably according to the Government.
The latest figures from the Government and SAGE (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) were updated this lunchtime and they show a drop in both the reproduction and growth rate for the region.
While the virus is still expected to grow, at between +1 per cent and +4 per cent each day, this is at a far slower late than predicted last week – when the growth rate was between +4 per cent and +7 per cent.
Similarly, the south west’s reproduction number, or R, is now between 1.0 and 1.3 – the average number of people that every one person with the virus is expected to then go on to infect. This is also slightly lower than last week’s 1.0 to 1.2 and 1.4.
The figures appear to somewhat contradict data issued by infectious disease analysts at Imperial College London, who have predicted that Cornwall has an 83 per cent chance of becoming a ‘hotspot’ by the first week of December and having at least 100 cases per 100,000 people – just days after the country is due to come out of lockdown.
They believe the likelihood of this happening is growing over the coming weeks, with currently only a 48 per cent chance of the local authority hitting those figures by the week ending tomorrow (Saturday, November 21), but this rises to 74 per cent in the week ending November 28 and then 83 per cent by December 5.
The current estimate growth for the virus by the Government and SAGE for the UK as a whole is now between 0 per cent and +2 per cent each day – lower than the +1 per cent to +3 per cent of last week – and an R number range of 1.0 to 1.1.
As of last night (Thursday), Cornwall specifically has a weekly rate of 90.2 cases per 100,000 people, with 516 cases confirmed in the seven days leading up to November 14.
SAGE said this week: “A significant amount of variability across a region due to a local outbreak may mean that a single average value does not accurately reflect the way infections are changing throughout that region.
“It is SAGE’s expert view, however, that this week’s estimates are reliable.
“These estimates represent the transmission of Covid-19 over the past few weeks due to the time delay between someone being infected, having symptoms and needing healthcare.
“Estimates for R and growth rates are shown as a range, and the true values are likely to lie within this range.”
These are the latest R and growth rate estimates by NHS England regions.
Region R Growth rate % per day
England 1.0-1.1 0 to +2
East of England 1.0-1.3 +1 to +4
London 1.0-1.2 0 to +3
Midlands 1.0-1.2 +1 to +3
North East and Yorkshire 1.0-1.1 0 to +2
North West 0.8-1.0 -3 to 0
South East 1.1-1.3 +1 to +4
South West 1.0-1.3 +1 to +4