cases have jumped by more than two thirds in a week, official data revealed today as experts warned infections will stay high for months and a new will be needed by September.
Department of Health bosses posted another 54,674 cases today — an increase of 68 per cent on last Saturday’s figure of 32,367 — breaching the 50,000 mark for only the second time since the darkest days of the last wave in January.
Another 41 deaths were also recorded, rising 20.6 per cent on the 34 seen last week.
Hospitalisations with the disease also spiked 30.4 per cent to 740 on July 13 — the latest date data is available for.It was the highest number of daily admissions seen since March 2, when they reached 834.
Experts today warned cases would continue to spiral across the country until autumn, passing the 100,000 in two weeks’ time.
The fire warning comes just two days before England is set to ditch most restrictions including social distancing and legal limits of gatherings on Monday dubbed Freedom Day.
Professor John Edmunds, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said that with the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England on Monday the disease would continue to spread.
Jeremy Hunt, who is now chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, said the situation was ‘very serious’.
With just two days to go until Freedom Day, Britons flocked to beaches across the country with Bournemouth in Dorset and Barry Island in South Wales among those looking very busy this afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Government is right to take the Beta variant of the coronavirus spreading in France seriously because it may evade vaccines, Professor Edmunds warned.
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<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-d0dbccc0-e714-11eb-aa8e-79e807913259" website cases rise 68% in a week to 54,674 – but deaths stay low at 41