UK Covid-19 infection rate jumps by 74 per cent in one week

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has risen by 74% since this time last week, new figures show.

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The leap is the highest jump in daily infection rates since February and means the total number of cases since the pandemic began is now at 4,535,754.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 7,540 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, the highest single-day rise since February 26.

The Government also said six more people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 127,860.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

It comes as Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK locking down in March 2020, said that new modelling data submitted to the Government suggests a risk of “a substantial third wave” of coronavirus infections in the UK.

Professor Neil Ferguson said that delaying full reopening on June 21 would make a difference as it would allow “more people to get second doses”.

He said there is “reasonably good data” on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines with regards to hospital admissions, which is “in the 90 to 95% range” for the Alpha (UK) variant and “around 90%” in the Delta (Indian) variant.

Professor Neil Ferguson said that modelling suggests there are benefits to “getting more vaccines into more arms as it reduces the scale of any third wave”.

He said: “I think, more critically, in the next two or three weeks we will be in a better position to really refine those estimates in terms of, saying ‘OK, those early projections may have been too optimistic or pessimistic’ … and that will be driven by just observing hospitalisations and, unfortunately, some deaths.”

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