The Sage government commission says the UK’s critical R is between 1.1 and 1.4 across the UK – confirming that the number of cases could double every seven days.
The medical director in England warned that the number of hospital admissions was rising sharply – saying it was a sign of “much worse things to come.”
If the rate is higher than 1, this means that the virus is growing, as each infected individual transmits it to more than one other person.
Just a week ago, it was estimated to be between 1.0 and 1.2. Before that, the last time R was above 1 was in early March.
It comes as cases It went up by about 6,000 a day In the week ending September 10, nearly double the rate of the previous week, according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England said: “We see clear signs that this virus is now spreading widely in all age groups, and I am particularly concerned about the increase in hospital admissions and intensive care among the elderly.
“This may be a warning of much worse things to come,” she said
“Our monitoring also indicates that we are seeing an increase in the other viruses that cause the common cold.”
Today’s data shows that the R number could reach 1.5 in the Northwest and Midlands.
Cases are on the rise in London, where the rate is estimated between 1.1 and 1.4, and between 1.2 and 1.4 in the Northeast and Yorkshire.
In the southwest there is a higher degree of variability, where the number is believed to be between 0.9 and 1.6.
Earlier today, data from the Covid Sympton study It is estimated that 69,686 people are currently suffering from Covid-19 symptoms Double last week’s figure of 35,248.
Scientists believe another 7,500 people are infected every day – and that number is likely to increase.
There are thought to be 13,000 cases in the Northeast and Yorkshire – the highest number in the UK – with the Northwest close to 12,500.
The government said in a statement: “The number of people between the ages of 1.1 and 1.4 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 14 other people.”
She added that the number of new infections is increasing by 2% to 7% every day.
After the app data was published earlier today, Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, said: ‘The data from the app paints a disturbing picture, with cases increasing across the UK, with the only exception to that rule being the Southwest where we see the numbers. Keep low.
“As the lockdown begins in the north of England, the data indicates that local lockdowns will be the best approach while we still see significant differences between the south and the north.
“The numbers are on the rise in London, which means we have to closely monitor the situation.
“This seems to be the start of the second wave and we are urging as many people as possible to download the app, log in for themselves and their families, and join the 1.5 million people who check in with us regularly.”
Meanwhile, a second national lockdown to reduce the spread Corona Virus The Minister of Health said he was not excluded, as the number of hospital admissions doubles every eight days.
Matt Hancock said the national lockdown was the “last line of defense” as he responded to reports that ministers were considering further national measures, even for just two weeks, such as imposing a curfew on bars and restaurants.
It comes as ministers are under fire over the NHS Test and Trace system, which has seen up to four times as many people trying to book a test with the number of tests available.
Without effective testing and tracing, experts said, it would be extremely difficult to control the spread of the virus and identify larger outbreaks.
Hancock told the BBC’s Breakfast, the latest data showed that hospital admissions are now doubling every eight days, amid warnings of high deaths in the coming weeks.
He said it was “extremely important” for people to follow the rule of no more than six people in an assembly, while those living under local restrictions should ensure they adhere to the advice.
“Also, if people test positive, or if people have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, they are self-isolating,” he said.
“If we do all these things, we can avoid having to take more serious measures.”
He said that the current approach is “targeted interventions,” but that “the national closure is the last line of defense.”