Covid: UK records more than 119,000 cases in new daily record

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The UK has recorded more than 119,000 positive tests on Thursday - the highest number of daily cases seen since the start of the pandemic when testing was made available.

Official figures show 119,789 infections were reported.

This is the second day daily figures have reached record highs, with 106,122 cases reported on Wednesday.

A further 147 people have died within 28 days of a positive test.

Last Thursday, the UK reported 88,376 new infections and 146 deaths.

Some 840,038 booster jabs were administered in the latest 24-hour period.

In total, more than 31.6 million people have now received a booster jab or third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine which equates to 55.1 per cent of the UK population aged over 12.

In separate figures, another 16,817 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant were reported in the UK on Thursday.

There are now a total of 90,906 confirmed Omicron cases, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

Analysis by the UKHSA shows case rates in England are rising in every age group except five to nine-year-olds.

The highest rate is among 20 to 29-year-olds, with 1,741.0 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to December 19, up sharply week-on-week from 656.4.

The second highest rate is among 30 to 39-year-olds, up from 763.8 to 1,496.8.

Meanwhile, the lowest rate is among people aged 80 and over at 112.7, up from 73.4.

It comes as Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed ministers are not planning to announce any post-Christmas Covid restrictions this week.

Mr Javid said people “should enjoy Christmas with their families and their friends” but added they should “of course, remain cautious”.

He also welcomed studies suggesting Omicron may cause less severe illness than earlier strains but he warned it could still lead to “significant” hospital admissions.

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis warned the health service is on a “war footing” as Omicron sweeps through the country.

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