To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of Germany's 'R' rate for COVID-19 reportedly increasing to 2.88.
7 July 2020
As the number of new cases declines, R becomes a less helpful indicator and the amount of uncertainty around its exact value increases. This uncertainty may be due to variability in the underlying data, leading to a wider range for R and more frequent changes in the estimates.
Additionally, R is an average measure. When the number of new cases is low, R will be more volatile and sensitive to individual outbreaks. An outbreak in one local area can result in the estimate of R for the entire region being pushed above 1. We believe this could be the case in Germany.
When the number of new cases decreases to a low level it becomes more important to monitor other indicators.