PUBLISHED: 05:17, Sat, Sep 12, 2020 | UPDATED: 05:17, Sat, Sep 12, 2020
Researchers from Imperial College London estimated the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has been doubling on average every seven to eight days. They found this increase is taking place across the country and in multiple age groups.
The study calculated the R rate for England is now at 1.7.
This means each coronavirus patient on average passes the disease to another 1.7 people.
Any R rate greater than one means the virus is spreading exponentially through the community.
On Friday the Government said it estimated the R rate for the entire UK to be between one and 1.2.
The number of coronavirus cases in England is reportedly doubling every 7-8 days (Image: GETTY)
The Government says the UK's R rate is now at 1.2 (Image: GETTY)
Speaking to The Times Professor Paul Elliott, who ran the study at Imperial, denied the increase can be attributed to more widespread testing.
He said: “Our large and robust dataset clearly shows a concerning trend in coronavirus infections, where cases are growing quickly across England and are no longer concentrated in key workers.
“What we are seeing is evidence of an epidemic in the community and not a result of increased testing capacity.
“This is a critical time and it’s vital that the public, our health system and policymakers are aware of the situation as we cannot afford complacency.”
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"What we are seeing is evidence of an epidemic in the community" (Image: GETTY)
Imperial’s React-1 study is based on swabs from more than 300,000 volunteers.
Between July 24 and