UK records 42,000 cases in one day – highest since peak of second wave
The UK has reported 42,302 new coronavirus cases – the highest number since the peak of the second wave in mid-January.
Another 49 deaths were also recorded within 28 days of a positive test.
The update comes on the day the UK reached its target of fully vaccinating two thirds of adults before England’s remaining lockdown restrictions are lifted next week.
Figures up to July 13 show that of the 81,192,857 jabs given so far, 46,037,090 were first doses, a rise of 59,073 on the previous day.
Some 35,155,767 were second doses, an increase of 158,276.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, urged people to get a vaccine amid the rapid rise in cases.
She said: ‘Cases are rising rapidly. We knew that as we opened up cases would increase, but thankfully due to the vaccine, deaths and hospital admissions are not rising as fast as cases. If you have not had the vaccine, book your first and second dose as soon as you can.
‘Restrictions are currently still in place, it is important to follow them, and when they lift on Monday there are still steps we can all take to protect ourselves and loved ones such as wearing a mask in enclosed spaces, opening a window if you’re meeting in close contact indoors, and getting tested and staying at home if you have symptoms.
‘The pandemic is not over, and we must all remain vigilant.’
Most remaining legal restrictions in England will be removed on Monday, including limits on contacts and the compulsory wearing of face coverings.
The country’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, told a Downing Street briefing this week that an ‘exit wave’ of infections is inevitable.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs case numbers ‘will get a lot worse before they get better’ – saying daily infections could soar as high as 100,000.
Some 1,200 scientists have urged the government to delay the reopening, writing in The Lancet that the decision to lift restrictions is ‘unethical’ and accusing ministers of pursuing an ‘unscientific’ policy of ‘herd immunity by mass infection’.
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