UK records highest new Covid-19 cases in five weeks but daily deaths appear to be falling

·3-min read

The UK has recorded 40,224 more Covid-19 cases over a 24-hour period - the highest figure in five weeks - as the rate of infection reaches its highest level since the summer.

The latest figures released by the government on Monday shows that 265,934 infections have been picked up in the past seven days, an 11.2 per cent rise on the previous week.

The daily figure is the highest the UK has seen since Monday, September 6, when 40,801 cases were reported.

It brings Britain’s Covid-19 infection rate to 354.6 per 100,000 population, one of the highest in Europe - exceeded by only a handful of countries including Serbia, Lithuania and Latvia.

The rate is the highest since July 24, when the seven-day rate stood at 375.1, according to analysis by the PA news agency.

Two-thirds of local authority areas in England are currently recording a rise in rates, with Trafford in Greater Manchester having the highest rate in the UK, at 832.6.

In second place is Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria (782.3), followed by Kettering (775.8) and Wellingborough (735.5), both in Northamptonshire.

In early May, at the end of the second wave of coronavirus, the country’s rate of new cases had fallen as low as 19.3 per 100,000 people.

 (Press Association Images)
(Press Association Images)

The third wave began later that month, driven by the more transmissable Delta variant of Covid-19 combined with an easing of lockdown restrictions.

Meanwhile, 28 more fatalities with 28 days of a positive Covid test were also reported on Monday.

That compares with 111 two Mondays ago and appears to suggest the continuation of a downward trend in daily deaths since towards the end of September.

Figures released in September showed Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in England, the highest ranking since March.

Meanwhile, government data up to October 10 shows that of the 94,376,101 Covid jabs given in the UK, 49,186,920 were first doses, a rise of 22,106 on the previous day.

Some 45,189,181 were second doses, an increase of 19,451.

It comes as ministers urged parents to get their children vaccinated against Covid-19 amid concerns about the vaccination programme in secondary schools.

The plea followed Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showing around one in 15 children in school years 7 to 11 in England are estimated to have had coronavirus in the week to October 2.

A school leaders' union has said head teachers are “increasingly frustrated” about delays to the Covid-19 vaccination programme for 12- to 15-year-olds in schools at a time of rising pupil absences.

The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) suggests that just nine per cent of this cohort in England had been vaccinated by October 3.

In a joint letter to parents of secondary school and college pupils, the Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have said “vaccines are our best defence”.

Three million pupils aged between 12 and 15 across the UK are eligible to receive a first Covid-19 jab as part of a rollout that began three weeks ago

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has said it would support the use of walk-in centres in England if it would help to “boost take-up and speed of delivery” of vaccines among the age group.

It comes after figures showed the number of children out of school for Covid-19 related reasons in England increased by two-thirds in a fortnight.

The Department for Education (DfE) estimates that 2.5 per cent of all pupils - more than 204,000 children - were not in class for reasons connected to coronavirus on September 30.

Provisional data from the Government's coronavirus dashboard suggests that 11.7 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds in England have been vaccinated as of October 10, compared to 38.9 per cent of of 12- to 15-year-olds in Scotland.

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