Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has tweeted the latest regional ‘R’-rate table showing how fast the coronavirus is spreading across England’s twelve regions – and the news is bad in all of them but one.
As Burnham pointed out, the ‘R’ has risen in every region except the south-east – and is at or above one in almost half, meaning the pool of infection was either increasing or not reducing. The latest table shows data as of 10 June and so would not reflect the acceleration effect of Johnson’s more recent relaxations of England’s lockdown.
The increases mean that, across the whole of England, the ‘R’ rate is no longer below one – yet Johnson ploughs ahead with a reduction in social distancing and the re-opening of retail and hospitality, in spite of sharp rises in the R rate of nations even with a low incidence of the virus, such as Germany and the cautious examples of Australia, New Zealand and others who have kept cases and deaths very low.
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