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Current R Number estimate

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The Department of Health continues to publish the Covid-19 reproduction number on a weekly basis.

The current estimate of R is 0.3 – 1.4

– Average number of new positive tests per day last 7 days – 91.3
– 7 day incidence based on new positive tests: 33.6 / 100k population
– 14 day incidence based on new positive tests: 58.3 / 100k population
– 7 day average of total tests (pillar 1 and 2) which are positive – 1.92%
– First COVID +ve hospital admission in last week – 7
– 7 day average number COVID occupied hospital beds – 16.4

Commenting on the figures the Chief Scientific Adviser Prof. Ian Young said: “Given the current estimate for R is lower than it has been in previous weeks it might be assumed that the position in Northern Ireland is improving, however this is not case. We’ve consistently said there are a range of indicators which need to be taken into account to assess the true position.”

“When we look at these indicators for the last week we see there has been a general increase. The 7 day rolling average for new cases has increased, as has test positivity. If we look back to July, less than one test in 200 was positive. This has steadily been increasing and we’re now seeing about one positive case for every 50 tests. In addition, R remains at around 1.2 for new COVID cases. It is clear overall that the epidemic continues to increase and that in particular there is an increase in community transmission.”

“Fortunately hospital admissions have remained stable and are at a relatively low level. However we are seeing an increase in the percentage of cases in the over 60s group and this is could be cause for concern. This group is at most risk of severe illness and hospitalisation and if we continue as we are unabated, it is inevitable that we will continue to see more cases in our older population and that will translate to more hospital admissions and in due course more deaths.”

“While we are also seeing some regional variations we must bear in mind that there is no part of Northern Ireland where the virus doesn’t exist.”

Prof. Young added: “Therefore regardless of your age or where you live, the public health advice applies to us all.”

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