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Boris Johnson Faces Calls for England Lockdown to Stem Virus Spread

  • Infections doubling every 9 days, R number is up to 1.6: study
  • Scientists warn tougher measures needed to reduce transmission
U.K. Economy Reels Under Virus Curbs

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under growing pressure to introduce another national lockdown as scientists warn measures to control the pandemic in England are failing, with opposition leader Keir Starmer joining calls for tougher action.

Infections are doubling every nine days and an estimated 960,000 people are carrying the virus in England on any one day, according to the latest findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori, which is conducting one of the country’s largest studies of the disease. The reproduction rate of the virus -- a measure of how many people on average are infected by a single carrier -- has risen to 1.6, compared to 1.2 when the last figures were published Oct. 9.