THE CORONAVIRUS R rate is nine times higher than at the end of the second lockdown, Dr Hilary Jones has claimed.
Official government data states that at present, the R rate is between 0.6 and 0.8 across the UK.
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The second coronavirus lockdown was a four-week shut down which ended on December 2.
Sage publishes the R rate every Friday and on December 4, the R rate was between 0.8 and 1.0.
The first national lockdown ended on June 1 and Sage then updated the R rate on June 5, which at the time was 0.7 to 0.9.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain today, Dr Hilary said that Brits needed to continue to be cautious due to how high the R rate is.
He said he was worried about the possibility of lockdown ending in just a few weeks.
He said: "We have a lot of people in hospital, we have an R rate, again, nine times higher than the end of the second lockdown and we are coming out of lockdown with all of those numbers and new variants, so whilst the vaccination schedule is doing really well we need to be cautious."
So far in the UK over 24.8 million people have had a first dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab or the Pfizer/BioNTech offering with more than 1.6 million having had a second dose.
Brits have been urged to continue to attended their jab appointments after 20 countries paused their rollout of the AstraZeneca jab amid blood clot fears.
Today it was revealed that anyone over the age of 50 who has not yet had their jab should book it online.
The NHS website has updated, telling everyone aged 50 and over to book their potentially life-saving Covid vaccine.
It means the mid-April target to vaccinate all over 50s and the most vulnerable – the top nine priority groups – could be smashed by the end of March.
Dr Hilary voiced his concerns about the current lockdown restrictions being lifted.
Schools were reopened last week in a bid to gradually get the nation back to some sort of normality.
If infection rates stay down then Prime Minister Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown will continue.
If rates continue to fall then hairdressers and gyms will be able to open next month with hopes that society will be fully open by the summer.
Dr Hilary highlighted how vaccines have helped the pandemic in the UK, but also stated that there are still "a lot of people in hospital".
Data from the government states that at present there are 7,281 people in hospital in the UK with Covid-19 – this is the lowest level since October.
Of that, 1,016 are receiving support from a ventilator.
It was yesterday reported that Covid deaths across the UK have halved in the last week.
A further 110 deaths were recorded yesterday, along with 5,294 new cases.
Last Tuesday, there were 231 deaths and 5,766 coronavirus cases recorded in Britain.
The latest figures mean 4,268,821 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Britain since the start of the pandemic.
Altogether, 125,690 people have died from the disease.
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