The Prime Minister announced last night that more than 80,000 people tested positive for coronavirus in a single day in December when he slammed England into a new nationwide lockdown tonight.
The UK has been announcing more than 50,000 new cases a day for a week, but new numbers showing the cases by the sample date show 80,000 people tested positive for coronavirus on December 29th.
The number varies as not all cases are reported on the day of sampling and a backlog of the 29th likely means that these cases were spread over several days.
It comes after fears that British permission to mingle in parts of the country for Christmas has sparked a huge surge in cases of the virus, despite barring Londoners and much of the Southeast from meeting.
In a televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said: “On December 29th, more than 80,000 people across the UK tested positive for Covid – a new record.
& # 39; The death toll has risen 20 percent in the past week and unfortunately it will continue to rise. My thoughts are with all of those who have lost loved ones. & # 39;
Downing Street released a series of slides showing the country's problem due to the new variant of the virus. The data showed that the number of people admitted to hospitals in England with Covid-19 has increased since April last year. The UK also recorded nearly 1,000 deaths twice last week
'With most of the country already facing extreme measures, it is clear that together we must do more to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out.
& # 39; In England we therefore have to go into a national lockdown that is tough enough to contain this variant.
“That means the government is again ordering you to stay home.
“You are only allowed to leave the house for legally permissible reasons, e.g. B. to shop for essentials to work, when you absolutely cannot work from home, to do sports, to get medical help, e.g. B. to get a Covid test or to avoid domestic violence. & # 39;
The announcement comes as the UK recorded 58,784 new cases yesterday – a 42 percent increase from last Monday.
This means the UK passed the 50,000 daily infection milestone for a week, suggesting that the easing of restrictions this Christmas fueled the outbreak.
Health ministry chiefs recorded 407 more deaths, up just 14 percent from the previous week.
However, it can take several weeks for infected patients to become seriously ill and succumb to the disease, meaning deaths have not yet peaked and will continue to increase.
The UK recorded nearly 1,000 deaths twice in the past week, with the gruesome tolls slipping since the darkest days of spring.
During his television announcement, the Prime Minister warned that the new virus variant was between 50 and 70 percent more transmissible and that in England alone the number of coronavirus patients had risen by almost a third in the last week.
He said: "Since the pandemic started last year, the entire UK has made great national efforts to fight Covid.
“And there is no doubt that our joint efforts to combat the old variant of the virus have been and would have continued.
'But we now have a new variant of the virus. It was both frustrating and alarming to see the speed at which the new variant was spreading.
There were 58,784 new cases in the UK today, up 42 percent from last Monday, and there have been 407 more deaths
The Prime Minister said that in England alone, the number of coronavirus patients had increased by almost a third in the past week. It comes when the Covid alert level is moved from 4 to 5
“Our scientists have confirmed that this new variant is between 50 and 70 percent more transmissible – that means you are much, much more likely to catch and pass on the virus.
“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than ever since the pandemic began.
In England alone, the number of Covid patients in hospitals has risen by almost a third to almost 27,000 in the last week. That number is 40 percent higher than the first high in April. & # 39;
Health Department data shows Covid cases skyrocketed in England in December despite number 10's revised tier system in place.
As of December 8, the weekly coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 people was 167, roughly eight times the government's limit for imposing travel quarantine on 20 other countries.
Within a week it had risen 58 percent to 264 per 100,000, official figures from December 15 showed.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new more infectious strain – known as B.1.1.7. – had been identified the day before and had already been discovered in 60 local authorities.
Then on December 19, the Prime Minister announced that the five-day Christmas break for restrictions had been canceled in the south and severely restricted in the rest of the country. It also plunged the capital and surrounding areas into a new Tier 4 restriction, closing gyms and non-essential businesses.
Ministers insisted that the previous stages were sufficient to contain the old strain of coronavirus, but the new variant had made its measures less effective.
But the infection rate in England had risen another 50 percent by December 22nd, reaching 400.4 per 100,000 people.
The new measures come as the UK started rolling out the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday after it was approved by regulators last week.
This map shows how the coronavirus variants have been tracked on their worldwide distribution
However, experts have warned that the effects of mass vaccination are unlikely to be apparent until April at the earliest, provided vaccine administration is increased to two million doses per day.
Last week, scientists attributed the vaccine's slow roll-out to lack of government investment and neglect in manufacturing.
Sir John Bell, a Regius professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies), said insufficient investment in vaccine manufacturing capabilities had left Britain unprepared.
He accused successive governments of failing to build onshore medical device manufacturing capabilities, and Oxford / AstraZeneca relied on outsourced companies to make cans such as Halix in the Netherlands, Cobra Biologics in Staffordshire and Oxford Biomedica.
Meanwhile, UK chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty warned that vaccine availability problems would "persist for several months" as companies struggle to keep up with global demand.
The new lock in England at a glance
England is placed on a full national lockdown that will last until halfway through February.
All elementary and secondary schools will be closed with immediate effect
Lessons remain only for vulnerable students and children of key workers.
They are due to reopen after the half-time break in February.
It is unlikely that A-Level and GCSE exams will run as planned in the summer.
The universities will remain closed to students until mid-February.
Kindergartens remain fully open.
The public should stay home unless they have to leave for one of only five reasons: when they cannot work from home, shop for necessities, play sports, provide care, and for medical treatment or emergencies.
All non-essential retailers, hospitality and "personal care" like hairdressers must close.
Restaurants and other eateries can continue to operate for takeout and delivery.
However, pubs are no longer allowed to offer take-away alcohol sales.
Children's playgrounds remain open.
All indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, and tennis courts, must be closed, and team sports cannot take place outdoors.
Elite sports such as the Premier League can be pursued according to their own standards.
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