Britain reports record daily number of new coronavirus cases, topping 40,000
| Dec 29th 2020 | 2 min read
There were 357 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test, the government’s coronavirus statistics portal said.
“This very high level of infection is of growing concern at a time when our hospitals are at their most vulnerable,” said Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers have said a variant of the coronavirus, which could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible, was spreading rapidly in Britain, although it is not thought to be more deadly or to cause more serious illness.
That prompted tight social mixing restrictions measures for London and southeast England, while plans to ease curbs over Christmas across the nation were dramatically scaled back or scrapped altogether.
Johnson last week said the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus meant there would be difficult times ahead, and ministers have said it may be necessary to do more.
The rise in positive cases was also partially driven by Northern Ireland reporting 1,634 new cases, having not reported any cases on Sunday or Friday due to the Christmas holiday period.
It was unclear whether a rise of cases in England by nearly 11,000 was partially a result of fluctuations in testing figures over the holiday weekend, as data on numbers of people being tested has not been published since Wednesday.
Britain has increased testing capacity substantially since the first wave of Covid-19 in the spring, from around 100,000 daily tests at the end of May to 500,000 tests on December 23, the last date data on the number of tests conducted were published.
India finds six cases of new coronavirus variant in UK arrivalsIndia on Tuesday reported 16,432 new cases of the virus, taking its total up to 10.22 million confirmed infections
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