Covid-19: R Rate and Lockdown Measures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 3:36 pm, 8th June 2020

Yes, absolutely. As I tried to say in my opening statement, R is one of many measures that we need to look at. The number of new infections—the level of new infections as opposed to the rate of change—is also important and more directly measurable both through test results and through the surveys that we discussed earlier. Of course, the surveys, the number of test results in particular and the number of people presenting for testing, which we get from the test and trace programme, are much more granular local data that can give us a view of local outbreaks. If there is evidence of a local outbreak, then symptomatic testing can be done in that community in order to find out how serious the problem is locally, so a whole suite of tools are at our disposal.