UK coronavirus cases surge by 14,542 as infection rate almost doubles in a week

Harriet Brewis
·4-min read
NHS workers in PPE at Queens Hospital: Getty Images
NHS workers in PPE at Queens Hospital: Getty Images

The UK's coronavirus infection rate has nearly doubled in one week, as cases continue to surge across England.

Britain's seven-day rate currently stands at 125.7 cases per 100,000 people – up from 63.8 per 100,000 a week ago.

Another 14,542 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed as of 9am on Tuesday, bringing the total to 530,113.

It marks a significant increase on Monday's figure, when 12,594 new cases were reported.

The number of daily infections has trebled in a fortnight – with 4,926 cases recorded on September 22.

The Government also said that a further 76 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19. This takes the official death toll to 42,369.

However, more than 58,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now been registered in the UK, according to Office for National Statistics analysis.

Of the 76 further fatalities announced on Tuesday afternoon, 63 were recorded in British hospitals.

Health authorities confirmed 50 deaths in England, 10 in Wales, two in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland.

The victims in English hospitals were aged between 42 and 96, NHS England said. Four of them had no known underlying health conditions.

It comes amid rising cases across parts of England, with the latest weekly infection figures showing that Manchester’s rate has soared, with 3,105 new cases recorded in the seven days to October 3 – the equivalent of 561.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Health officials are also expecting Nottingham to be placed in lockdown after a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The city’s infection rate has risen dramatically, with 1,465 new cases recorded in the seven days to October 3 – the equivalent of 440.1 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 71.2 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 26 – a week that saw 237 new cases.

The director of public health for Nottingham, Alison Challenger, said current restrictions in the city “are no longer enough to stop the spread of the virus”.

Other areas with high rates are Knowsley and Liverpool, while Newcastle upon Tyne, Sheffield and Leeds have recorded large jumps in their infection rate over the last seven days.

The latest figures come after it emerged that thousands of positive coronavirus cases in England still needed to be reached after a technical glitch meant they failed to be recorded.

Downing Street said that as of 9.30am on Tuesday, 63 per cent of the the almost 16,000 individuals concerned had been contacted by Test and Trace and a survey of their contacts completed following the data issues over the weekend.

Addressing the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the technical problem with the system “that brings together” data from NHS test sites and tests processed by commercial firms “should never have happened” but he insisted the team had “acted swiftly to minimise its impact”.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said problems with testing were “putting lives at risk” and that as many as 48,000 contacts may not have been traced due to the glitch.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, has warned that further restrictions including closing bars and restaurants could be needed to keep the pandemic under control while schools and universities remain open.

Prof Ferguson – whose modelling led to the original nationwide lockdown – said the most important measures were reducing contacts between households.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said that with schools and universities open ways needed to be found to reduce contacts in other areas, such as an “extended half term” or closing hospitality venues.

Prof Ferguson added: “So we are in a more difficult position, if we want to keep schools open we have to reduce contacts in other areas of society by more.

“You will have heard measures being discussed across society as a whole such as extended half terms where we try to reduce transmission for a concerted period.

“I think those measures should be considered.”

Meanwhile, MPs will vote on Tuesday on the regulations which enforce the rule of six in England.

Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back the rule, with his official spokesman describing the ban on more than six people mixing as a “sensible and helpful” measure.

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