Daily virus cases soared to over 50,000 a day for the first time since July even as the government resisted calls to reimpose restrictions, reports Asian Lite News.
Daily virus cases in the UK on Thursday soared to over 50,000 a day for the first time since July but the government again resisted calls to reimpose restrictions.
According to the latest statistics, there were 52,009 new cases recorded in the UK – the highest figure since July 17.
The UK has managed to administer two vaccine doses to 79 percent of those aged 12 and over and the number of hospitalisations remains relatively low.
It is pushing for all those not inoculated to get the vaccine and urging the over-50s and clinically vulnerable to take up the offer of a third booster vaccine as well as get flu jabs.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Wednesday played down concerns over the stubbornly high figures and insisted it was not time to bring back measures such as compulsory mask-wearing indoors.
“Cases are rising. They could go yet as high as 100,000 a day. This pandemic is not over,” Javid told a news conference.
“We are looking closely at the data but we won’t be implementing our Plan B of contingency measures at this point,” he insisted.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also resisted calls from health officials to cut close-contact transmission, given fears that the rising numbers could overwhelm hospitals dealing with other respiratory infections over the winter months.
“We are watching the numbers very carefully every day. The numbers of infections are high but we are within the parameters of what the predictions were,” he said.
“We are sticking with our plan,” he added.
Health minister Edward Agar on Thursday told Sky News that school-age children were driving the increased infection rates in England.
The UK Health Security Agency said a total of 1,366.8 cases per 100,000 people aged 10 to 19 was recorded in the week to October 17 – up from 1,134.9 in the previous seven days.
The rate for children aged five to nine was 719.2, up week-on-week from 585.0. Both rates are the highest since data was first collected in October last year.
Johnson and his government have faced repeated criticism for reacting too slowly at key stages of the pandemic since the outbreak began early last year.
Britain’s death toll stands at 139,146, second only to Russia in Europe. The country’s total number of cases is second only to the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed there have now been 162,620 deaths registered in Britain where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that the level of COVID cases is “high” and he is “watching the numbers very carefully every day”.
However, he has insisted he is “sticking with our plan”. The British government has so far resisted calls to move to Plan B of its autumn and winter COVID response for easing pressures on the National Health Service (NHS).
Britain has lifted most COVID restrictions thanks to the progress of its vaccine rollout.
More than 86 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and around 79 percent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.