Britain has announced 180 more coronavirus deaths today, bringing the official death toll to 36,573.
NHS England has had 157 Covid hospital deaths in the last 24 hours. Scotland suffered 16 in all situations, followed by Wales (six) and Northern Ireland (one).
Today's preliminary figure – not yet confirmed by the Department of Health – is the lowest Saturday number since March 21 (56), three days before Britain was banned.
The 180 deaths were calculated based on the individual reporting of the home country. The true daily number will be significantly higher when the government announces it later today, as it includes deaths in nursing homes in England – where the crisis is still burning.
Despite the small daily leap in death, government scientists yesterday warned that the reproductive rate is still on the verge of getting out of control.
The R rate indicates the number of other people to whom an infected patient passes the disease and must remain at 1 or below, otherwise the UK will face another crisis.
This is the second consecutive week that the R rate has been officially announced as between 0.7 and 1, meaning that every 10 patients infect between seven and 10 others.
However, the way the R is calculated means that it is out of date, and the last calculation is based on data from about three weeks ago – before the lock was released.
In other developments on the UK coronavirus crisis today:
- There were calls to Boris Johnson's top aide, Dominic Cummings, to step down today after it emerged that he had violated the blocking rules to drive 250 miles to his older parents' house.
- Union leader Keir Starmer announced that his children had attended school throughout the coronavirus crisis when he demanded that classes be resumed "as soon as possible."
- Employers have been told that from August they will have to pay 25 percent of the wages of the staff on leave, raising fears of a wave of layoffs.
- Boris Johnson will put the "track" in his "Test, Track and Trace" system, which is designed to put Great Britain out of circulation as the NHSX app will not be ready for weeks.
The R is calculated by measuring how quickly the virus spreads by comparing data such as hospital admissions, number of patients in the intensive care unit, death statistics and surveys to find out how many people the public comes into contact with.
The new figure does not take into account the slight easing in UK blocking measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on May 13th.
Mr. Johnson said ministers would reintroduce controls if the virus transmission rate increased again.
London is believed to be a leader in terms of its R value. Experts from Public Health England and the University of Cambridge predict that it could only be 0.4 in the capital.
WHAT IS THE R AND HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT ESTIMATE IT?
Each infectious disease is given a reproductive number known as R0 – pronounced "R naught" – or simply as R.
This value indicates how many people on average infect a sick person if the virus multiplies under ideal conditions.
The value was estimated by the Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergency (SAGE).
They evaluate data from hospital stays, intensive care needs, deaths and the number of social contacts that people have.
Experts use several sources to get this information, including NHS hospital admissions, the National Statistics Bureau and CQC deaths, and behavioral contact surveys.
Using mathematical models, they can calculate the spread of the virus.
However, a delay in the time it takes coronavirus patients to feel uncomfortable and to die means that R-modeling is always about three weeks ago.
Most epidemiologists – scientists who track outbreaks – believe that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has an R value of around 3.
However, some experts who analyze outbreaks around the world have estimated that they could be closer to the 6.6 mark.
As the eruption progresses, the R0 can be more accurately referred to as Re or just R, as other factors come into play to influence how well it can spread.
Estimates of the COVID-19 R vary because the true size of the pandemic remains a mystery and the spread of the virus depends on the environment.
As the outbreak, the R can simply be referred to as R, which means the effective infection rate – nothing assumes that no one in the population is protected, which is out of date when more people recover.
However, the nationwide number of reproductions is shifting upwards due to outbreaks in nursing homes and northern cities. It has sparked calls for regional easing, with London leading the way.
The decrease in daily deaths was due to the fact that Boris Johnson's senior advisor Dominic Cummings was forced to defend claims that he had violated the blocking rules
Mr. Cummings insisted had behaved "reasonably and legally" when he tbrought his London wife and son to his parents' Durham farm in March to isolate himself with coronavirus symptoms, despite government restrictions that do not prohibit essential travel.
He was discovered by a witness at the property's gate, with Abba's dancing queen playing loudly.
A defiant Mr. Cummings, challenged by reporters this afternoon to see if his actions looked bad, said, "Who cares about good looks?"
“It's about doing the right thing. It's not what you think. & # 39; He also insulted photographers for not adhering to social distance rules by staying two meters apart.
In a previous statement, a No. 10 spokesman said Mr. Cummings had broken no guidelines with the 264-mile trip.
"Given his wife's infection with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would feel uncomfortable, it was vital for Dominic Cummings to ensure that his young child could be properly looked after," the spokesman said.
& # 39; His sister and nieces volunteered to help, so he went to a house nearby, but separate from his extended family, if their help was needed. His sister bought for the family and left everything outside.
Although the Durham police have confirmed that the family has received advice on blocking rules, the statement added: “At no time has he or his family been reported by the police on the matter, as reported. His actions followed the guidelines for corona viruses. Mr. Cummings believes that he has acted reasonably and legally. & # 39;
Amid a concerted Tory effort to support the key assistant, Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove, former Cummings chief, tweeted: "Taking care of your wife and child is not a crime." Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Chancellor Rishi Sunak also offered support.
A defiant Dominic Cummings, who was challenged by reporters at his London house this afternoon to see if his actions looked bad, said, "Who cares about good looks?"
Dominic Cummings was fighting for his political life today when the pressure on Boris Johnson increased to fire his chief advisor for violating the blackout rules (duo pictured in September).
Allies pointed to a comment from Deputy Chief Physician Jenny Harries on March 24 when asked what parents should do if both get sick. & # 39; A young child is vulnerable. If adults can't take care of the child, that's an exceptional circumstance, ”said Dr. Harries.
However, the government's guidelines state that those who isolate themselves "must stay at home and do not have to leave the house" and must stay away from vulnerable older people. In a report on her ordeal released last month, journalist Mary Wakefield from Mr. Cummings also described how his little son cared for him with Ribena – suggesting that he stayed with them all the time. The Prime Minister's official spokesman at the time told reporters that Mr. Cummings was isolating "at home."
The bombshell revelations triggered allegations of hypocrisy with Mr. Cummings' position as "unsustainable" and signs of unrest among Tory MPs.
A Labor Party spokesman said: “The blocking rules were very clear: if you or someone in your household is suspected of having Covid-19, you must immediately isolate yourself and not leave the house. However, the Prime Minister's chief adviser seems to believe that this is one rule for him and another for the British people.
& # 39; This will cause understandable anger for the millions of people who have sacrificed so much during this crisis.
"We are still unclear as to who knew about this decision and when, whether it was approved by the Prime Minister, and whether number 10 is now questioning the validity of the Durham police statement."
Ian Blackford, chairman of SNP Westminster, told BBC Radio 4 & # 39; s Today that there had apparently been a "cover-up" and that Mr. Cummings "should have gone" by now.
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