UK records 96 more Covid-19 deaths - nearly double last Tuesday’s figure and the biggest since March 24

·3-min read
UK records 96 more Covid-19 deaths - nearly double last Tuesday’s figure and the biggest since March 24

The UK has recorded another 46,558 Covid-19 cases while single-day deaths from the disease have jumped to 96 - the highest figure since March.

The latest infections tally is the biggest Tuesday figure since January 5 and brings the country’s total case load to 5,519,602.

The seven-day rolling average of cases has jumped to beyond 45,000 this week, providing further evidence of the growing third wave of coronavirus infections sweeping the country.

Daily cases are starting to approach the numbers witnessed during the peak of the UK’s pandemic last winter. The record number of infections recorded over a 24-hour period remains 68,053 reported on January 8.

Meanwhile, some 96 more deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded, bringing the overall death toll to 128,823. That number compares with 19 on Monday and is nearly double the 50 deaths last Tuesday.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 154,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The big rise in single-day deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test result is likely to further heighten the debate around the government’s decision to lift most remaining restrictions in England on so-called Freedom Day on July 19.

Nightclubs have been allowed to reopen their doors, prompting a warning on Monday from the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance that they could be “potential super-spreading events”.

Earlier on Tuesday, Downing Street insisted it is "crucial" for people to self-isolate after receiving an alert from the NHS Covid-19 app - contradicting a minister who suggested people could make an "informed decision" on whether to quarantine.

No 10 moved to combat the confusion hours after business minister Paul Scully said it was a decision for individuals and employers whether they should isolate after a "ping" from the app.

Another minister in the business department, Lord Grimstone of Boscobel, stressed in a letter to one large employer that the app is only an "advisory tool" and that people are not under any "legal duty", The Times reported.

Although it has never been a legal requirement to obey the app's instructions, the official NHS guidance has been that people should "self-isolate immediately" when told to.

In a sign that Downing Street was scrambling to get its message back on track, a No 10 spokeswoman said: "Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus.

"Given the risk of having and spreading the virus when people have been in contact with someone with Covid, it is crucial people isolate when they are told to do so, either by NHS Test and Trace or by the NHS Covid app.”

Nearly 180,000 more vaccine doses have been administered, figures released on Tuesday revealed, as the government struggles to encourage more young people to get themselves inoculated against Covid-19.

Government data up to July 19 shows that of the 82,592,996 Covid jabs given in the UK, 46,349,709 were first doses - a rise of 35,670 on the previous day.

Some 36,243,287 were second doses, an increase of 143,560.

At a press conference on Monday, Boris Johnson revealed about 35 per cent of those aged 18-30 - around three million people - are completely unvaccinated.

The Prime Minister announced admission to nightclubs will require proof of double vaccination by the end of September - a sudden change of tack intended to encourage more young people to get jabbed, but one that has been branded an “absolute shambles” by a leading industry body.

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