COVID-19

COVID-19: what is the R number?

Governments around the world are monitoring it to see whether it's safe to lift lockdown. But what is the R number, and why does it matter? Image: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Peter Beech

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Image: BBC
A couple kisses at Duomo Square, Catania, Sicily, as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown, 4 May 2020.
A couple kisses at Duomo Square, Catania, Sicily, as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown, 4 May 2020. Image: Reuters/Antonio Parrinello
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