Coronavirus infections in Suffolk could be increasing slightly as virus reproduction rate remains just above one, government scientists say
The great unlocking of Suffolk has seen the vital coronavirus R number edge above one, meaning rates of the virus could be growing slightly.
Yesterday the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies said the reproduction rate - the average number of people each Covid-19 patient infects - had in the East of England remained at between 0.8 to 1.1.
An R number between 0.8 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.
The vital value, which is used by statisticians to work out how fast the virus is spreading, reflects the state of the outbreak a fortnight ago because of the time it takes for infections to appear.
Rates have risen slightly since March as England began to move out of lockdown. At the start of March it was 0.6 to 0.8, with the virus firmly in retreat.
It grew to between 0.7 and one at the start of April as more restrictions eased, and then on April 23 went up slightly again to between 0.8 and 1.1, where it remains.
Despite the possibility of growth in the county, signs suggest the virus is losing its bite across England, with the number of people in the country with Covid-19 having dropped 40 per cent in a week, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics data, which covers private households, shows an estimated 54,200 people were likely to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the week to April 24, down from 90,000 the previous week.
This means around one in 1,010 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to April 24, down from one in 610.
It is the lowest figure since the week to September 5, when the estimate stood at one in 1,400.
Yesterday anyone aged 40 and over were invited to book their jab as the rollout continued at pace, with the vaccination drive seen as the way to freedom by the government.
On Thursday Matt Hancock, West Suffolk MP and health secretary, got his first dose of the life saving vaccine from Professor Jonathan Van-Tam in London.
"I'm feeling great now I've had my first jab," said the 42 year old. "Massive thanks to JVT for administering my Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccination and going so much for us all through the pandemic."