NIESR Weekly Covid-19 Tracker: Reproduction Number (R) and Forecasts of New Cases: R value for England stable in the third week after step 2 re-opening

Publication date: 6 May 2021 | Publication type: NIESR Covid-19 Tracker | NIESR Author(s): Thamotheram, C | Report number: 12

Main points

  • We report estimates of the R number and forecasts for new cases of Covid-19, hospital admissions, and deaths due to Covid-19 using data that was publicly available as of 4th May 2021.
  • Figure 1 shows that the Reproduction number, R, for England. R is the average number of secondary infections currently generated by an infected individual, and is estimated to be in the range of 0.85 – 1.00 based on specimen date data until 30th April.
  • For Northern Ireland the R number is in the range 0.90 – 1.05; for Wales, 0.80 – 0.95 and for Scotland, 0.85 – 1.0. The regional R number estimates given in Figure 5 show that, currently, London has the lowest R number while the North West has the highest value across England’s regions.
  • Based on our model, by 17th May when step 3 re-opening is due to restart, we expect the trend value of daily cases to be around 1,200; admissions to be below 100, and deaths to be approaching 0 (Figures 3-5)

“Based on the latest data on new cases, our estimate of the R number for England lies in the range 0.85 – 1.00, similar to last week. This estimate is based on data up to 4th May 2021, three weeks beyond step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown. Hospital admissions and deaths due to Covid-19 continue their steady decline hinting at the success of the vaccination programme whilst social mobility restrictions have been gradually eased.”

Dr Craig Thamotheram
Senior Economist - Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting