UK and US reproduction rates worsen
The UK Government has announced a third total lockdown as its daily case numbers surge to nearly 60,000 cases. The UK reproduction number was R=1.75 on 3 January 2021 and it has been above 1.0 since early December. We will be watching closely for the reproduction rate to fall now that the lockdown is in place but that is likely to be days to a couple of weeks away.
One week ago, we reported that the US had a declining reproduction rate with an overall rate below 1.0. Unfortunately, the rate is once again climbing above 1.0. Given the relatively high base of daily new cases that will have a bad outcome for States and counties that are already struggling. Perhaps the reproduction rates in the UK and US are due to the arrival of the new more contagious variant in the UK and from South Africa. Perhaps, too, there is growing compliance fatigue with public health guidance.