Another five people die from coronavirus in England bringing deaths total to 29,661 while another 244 cases are reported in Scotland
- Though down on yesterday’s figure, today’s cases are higher than last Sunday
- Overall, 368,504 cases have now been recorded, with another five deaths today
- The patients counted in today’s death toll were aged between 67 and 86
Another 3,330 cases of coronavirus were recorded in the UK today, an 11 per cent increase on last Sunday.
Overall, 368,504 cases have now been confirmed while the government also announced that a further five people had died Sunday of the virus. This brings the UK total to 41,628.
Last Sunday saw 2,988 cases recorded and three new deaths.
The patients counted in today’s death toll were aged between 67 and 86 and all had known underlying health conditions.
The dates of the deaths were September 11 and September 12. No deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
It comes as the government imposes panic restrictions across England, with Boris Johnson’s draconian new ‘rule of six’ due to kick into force on Monday amid fears the reproduction ‘R’ rate could be as high as 1.7.
SAGE Professor Sir Mark Walport warned the public that England is on the brink of ‘losing control’ of the viral outbreak as he urged people to cut off contact with friends and family.
Experts believe coronavirus spreading in lower doses is keeping death tolls and hospital admissions low but daily case totals high.
Social distancing measures mean an infected person would only be able to pass on traces of Covid-19 to another person, therefore the virus’s ‘infectious dose’ is lower.
Because the newly-infected person would have a smaller amount of the virus, their symptoms would not be as serious – in a similar manner to chicken pox.
While this would explain why a rise in cases has not lead to a rise in deaths, doctors have stressed that not enough is known about Covid-19 to determine whether it is dose-dependent.
But other viruses, including SARS and MERS – the coronaviruses behind two previous pandemic outbreaks – follow this pattern.
Cases of Covid-19 have been slowly creeping up in the UK since early July.
A total of 244 people tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hours – the highest daily figure since May 6.
The statistics show that 22,679 people have now tested positive in Scotland, up from 22,435 the day before.
No deaths of confirmed Covid-19 patients have been recorded in the past 24 hours and the number of fatalities remains at 2,499.
There are 259 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, down by two in 24 hours.
Of these patients, seven were in intensive care, down one.
There have been a further 162 cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19,390.
Public Health Wales said no further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,597.
Britain recorded 3,497 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, marking the highest Saturday rise since May.
As the reproduction rate rises the number of people one infected person could pass the virus onto increases dramatically – putting the country at risk of a second wave of illness.
Ministers are considering a 10pm curfew for pubs next week with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland warning that young people are ‘forgetting the rules’ ahead of the new limits on gatherings coming into force on Monday.
Ahead of the crackdown, Mr Buckland has warned the government could go even further next week and introduce curfews.
The Government is imposing panic restrictions across England, with Boris Johnson’s draconian new ‘rule of six’ due to kick into force on Monday
PHE data suggests that Covid-19 cases are surging among the over-50s, as senior officials last night warned of ‘worrying’ signs for high-risk groups
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: ‘I think that as you’ve seen we’ve been very prepared to move quickly where necessary and where the evidence points us.
‘I think there’s an issue about social occasions and social events and particularly young people getting together and enjoying themselves sometimes a bit too much and forgetting the importance of the rules.
‘I think it would be idle of me to speculate as to what measures we might have to bring in as we approach the winter.’
Testing backlog sees swabs sent abroad
A backlog of 185,000 Covid tests has forced the Government to send swabs to labs in Italy and Germany.
Officials last night blamed people who seek tests without having symptoms for placing ‘significant demand’ on the system.
Pressure on the programme has meant people being asked to drive hundreds of miles to get tested. Louise Haigh, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, yesterday warned that for several days last week there was not a single test available across the city.
‘I know of constituents who were being told to go into areas that are currently under lockdown, to travel up to Scotland, up to the North East,’ she told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme. ‘It’s completely ridiculous to be asking people to travel around the country who are potentially infected.’
The Department of Health last night confirmed it had to send testing kits abroad.
A spokesman said: ‘NHS Test and Trace is working and our capacity is the highest it has ever been but we are seeing a significant demand for tests including from people who do not have symptoms and are not otherwise eligible.’
The Government supposedly has capacity to carry out 375,000 tests a day. On Thursday, the lastest day for which data is available, it carried out 227,000 tests.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be considering introducing a 10pm or 11pm curfew on restaurants, bars and pubs if local measures are unable to bring the spread of the virus under control.
Speaking about the rise in cases, Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine, Imperial College London, said a ‘trickle’ of cases can turn into a ‘cascade’, adding that if people do not abide by the ‘rule of six’ now then the country faces going back into ‘hard lockdown’.
He said: ‘I think everyone is in agreement that we really need to act very quickly now in order to prevent this from growing exponentially.
‘I think that’s the main point is that we must act fast because it’s so much harder to get this sort of thing under control if you delay.
‘Even a few days is potentially going to be quite dangerous now at this particular moment.’
Meanwhile, up to 4.5 million people most at risk from Covid will be told to stay at home under a new shielding plan based on health, age and weight, according to a report.
Letters with tailored advice are to be sent to individuals based on a new ‘risk model’ which will factor in underlying health conditions, age, sex and weight.
This measure will be introduced first for areas with high rates of infection but a Whitehall source told The Sunday Telegraph ‘if the rate is so concerning across the whole of England we are prepared to do it on a blanket basis.’