Friday 25 September 2020 4:37 pm

Coronavirus: UK reports 6,874 new cases as Covid-19 R number rises again

There were 6,874 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in the UK on Friday after the coronavirus R number was also confirmed to be on the rise.

The number of confirmed infections increased by 240 compared with Thursday.

The number of deaths among those who had tested positive for Covid-19 within 28 days was 34. Today’s number does not include Scotland’s latest update, due to a technical fault.

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The UK’s coronavirus R number has also risen from 1.1 to 1.4 to between 1.2 and 1.5, according to the government’s advisers.

The government’s scientific advisory body SAGE said the latest data showed there is “widespread growth of the epidemic across the country”.

The R number indicates the average number of people someone with coronavirus passes it on to.

Anything above one suggests the virus is spreading exponentially.

SAGE also said that the number of new infections every day was rising by between four per cent and eight per cent.

It comes as the number of infections per week in England nearly doubled, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The department estimates that more than 103,000 people in England have contracted coronavirus in the week ending 19 September.

It equates to around 9,600 new cases per day, compared with a 6,000 rise in the previous week, which totalled at 59,800.

It means that one in every 500 people across England are testing positive, according to the ONS.

These numbers represent infections in the community and exclude hospital and care homes.

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The ONS highlighted that the areas where the infection rate appeared higher in England included, the North West, North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and London.

The data was released following a joint statement from the UK’s four chief medical advisers that said the country was on the cusp of a second wave.

The statement said: “Cases are rising rapidly and we must take action to stop an exponential increase that could overwhelm our health services and aim to bring R back below 1 while minimising the impact on the economy and society.”