Coronavirus: North West

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the latest estimate of the covid-19 R number is for the North-West.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to publish the covid-19 reproduction (R) number (R) for each local authority area.

Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which (a) regions and (b) local authority areas have a covid-19 R rate of above one.

Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will regularly publish the R value for covid-19 infections on a regional basis.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. At the time of writing the current range is estimated to be 0.7-0.9 and is based on latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates. We do not calculate the R rate in different regions or local authority areas.

R is an average number and so can be highly uncertain if based on small quantities of data, for example, the R value for Northern Ireland will be more uncertain than England as the population is smaller and there have been fewer COVID-19 cases to date from which R can be calculated. R is not usually a useful measure on its own and needs to be considered alongside the number of new cases. Because of this uncertainty, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ view is that it is unhelpful to use estimates of R rates to monitor the epidemic in different regions.

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