CORONAVIRUS infections are not rising as fast as the "nightmare projection" from the Government's chief scientists, data has revealed.
Last week, Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty painted a bleak picture with cases doubling every seven days.
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They said new confirmed cases could hit 50,000-a-day by October 13, adding it was not a "prediction", but an example of what could happen.
But new analysis has revealed new infections of coronavirus are not rising quite as quickly as the experts feared.
The worrying possibility was presented using data from September 15, with 3,105 cases reported.
And while in the following days the country has seen the highest rise in new infections in months with cases tipping over 6,000, we have not yet started to see the scale of a rise experts worried about.
If we had started to follow the scientist's feared trend, the country would have reached closer to 8-9,000 daily cases by now. Yesterday 6,024 new infections were reported.
According to the latest data, the virus is more likely to be doubling between every nine and 14 days – which means a worst case scenario could see 32,000-daily cases by October 13.
Or, if the virus infection rate continues to double every 14 days the country would see far less new cases, with around 18,000-a-day.
The R number across the UK is between 1.2 and 1.5 and the Covid-19 epidemic is growing, scientists have said.
Experts from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) estimated the R rate was up on the 1.1 to 1.4 it reported in the previous week.
All regions of England have an R that is higher than one and all have positive growth rates.
"An increase in the UK-wide estimate of growth rate indicates that the rate of transmission is increasing across the country," Sage said.
More than 17 million people – a quarter of the UK population – will be under tougher coronavirus restrictions from today as new measures are introduced in Cardiff and Swansea at 6pm.
People will not be able to enter or leave the areas without a reasonable excuse. They will not be able to meet indoors with anyone they do not live with, with extended households suspended.
Bans on households mixing came into force in Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds on Saturday, while stricter rules are already in force across large swathes of north-west England, West Yorkshire, the North East and the Midlands, as well as parts of west Scotland.
A ban on households mixing indoors was extended across Northern Ireland earlier this week.
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