The rate of spread of coronavirus infection in London has fallen, new statistics reveal, although the R number and growth rate nationwide remain the same.

The estimated R number in the capital has fallen from 0.7-1.0 to 0.6-0.9, indicating the rate of spread is shrinking.

But across the UK, the growth rate remains at minus 4% to minus 2% per day while the reproduction number, referred to as R, remains at 0.7 to 0.9.

Both figures are unchanged from when they were published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies on Friday.

For England, whilst the R value for England remains at 0.7 to 0.9, the growth rate has changed from minus 4% to minus 1%, to minus 5% to minus 2%.

Specifically in London, the R value has fallen to 0.6-0.9, whilst the growth rate is currently minus 5% to plus 1%, a slight increase.

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The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, and, as the number of infections decreases, is more reliable way of keeping track of the virus.

If the growth rate is greater than zero, and therefore positive, then the disease will grow, and if the growth rate is less than zero, then the disease will shrink.

It is an approximation of the change in the number of infections each day and the size of the growth rate indicates the speed of change.

The R value of the disease indicates the average number of people an infected person is likely to pass it on to.

R estimates do not indicate how quickly an epidemic is changing and different diseases with the same R can result in epidemics that grow at very different speeds.

Previously it emerged that London had been the worst-hit area in England for Covid-19 deaths, with mortality rate a third higher than any other region, but numbers are starting to shoot down.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that for England and Wales, shown that London has suffered by far the worst mortality rate after the capital emerged as the epicentre of the outbreak in the UK.

London boroughs make up nine out of the top ten areas with the highest mortality rates where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, and as a region has recorded 137.6 deaths per 100,000 people across the last three months.

The R values and growth rate for the following regions are:

- East of England: 0.7-0.9, minus 6% to 0%

This is a change from minus 6% to minus 1%, suggesting the rate of spread may be growing in the area.

- London: 0.6-0.9, minus 6% to 0%

This is a change from 0.7-1.0, and minus 5% to plus 1%, indicating the rate of spread is shrinking.

- Midlands: 0.7-0.9 (from 0.8-1.0), with an unchanged growth rate of minus 4% to 0%

- North East and Yorkshire: 0.7-0.9, minus 4% to 0%, changed from minus 5% to minus 1%

- North West: 0.7-1.0, minus 5% to 0%, changed from minus 4% to 0%

- South East: 0.7-0.9, minus 6% to minus 1%, shrinking from minus 5% to minus 1%

- South West: 0.6-0.9, minus 7% to 0%, also shrinking from minus 6% to 0%