The Royal Society has reviewed the methods of estimation, data sources, causes of heterogeneity, and use as a guide in policy formulation for the reproduction number (R) and growth rate (r) of the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. The review, by the Royal Society’s SET-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking: COVID-19) group, is designed to assist in the understanding of COVID-19.
The report highlights the importance of high-quality data - particularly on past infection and the incidence of new infections - and the need to greatly improve the collection and management of such data in the UK. The report also highlights the level of uncertainty in estimates of both the reproduction number (R) and growth rate (r), given the limitations of data and the need for this to be factored into policy decisions.
The paper Reproduction number (R) and growth rate (r) of the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK: methods of estimation, data sources, causes of heterogeneity, and use as a guide in policy formulation (PDF) is published today.
Members of the sub-group who authored the report:
Professor Sir Roy Anderson FMedSci FRS, Imperial College London
Professor Christl Donnelly, FMedSci FRS, Imperial College London and University of Oxford
Professor Deirdre Hollingsworth, University of Oxford
Professor Matt Keeling, University of Warwick
Dr Carolin Vegvari, Imperial College London
Dr Rebecca Baggaley, University of Leicester
Rosie Maddren (Research Assistant to the group), Imperial College London
This report has been shared with government.