UK reports more than 50,000 daily COVID cases for first time
A woman walking on a near-empty street near Leicester Square in London, Britain, on December 21, 2020.Han Yan/Xinhua/IANS

UK reports more than 50,000 daily COVID cases for first time

London, December 30, 2020

The United Kingdom reported more than 50,000 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in a 24-hour period for the first time on Tuesday.

Figures released by the Department of Health and Social Care on Tuesday said there were 53,135 new people with a confirmed positive test result reported on December 29.

Between 31 January and 29 December 2020, there have been 2,382,865 people who have had a confirmed positive test result, it said.

"There were 414 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus reported on 29 December 2020. Between 2 March and 28 December 2020, there have been 71,560 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test," the Department said.

According to it, there were 2,322 cases of hospitalisation on December 21, taking the total number of those hospitalised with coronavirus in the country between March 23 and December 21 to 260,079.

There were 21,286 people in hospital with coronavirus on December 22. Of them, 1,529 were on ventilator support, it said.

IANS adds:

The latest figures were revealed as a scientist advising the British government warned Tuesday that "decisive" national action is needed to prevent a "catastrophe" in the new year.

Britain is "entering a very dangerous new phase of the pandemic" due to the spread of a new coronavirus variant, said Prof. Andrew Hayward, a member of the government's New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag).

"We're going to need decisive, early, national action to prevent a catastrophe in January and February," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The previous levels of restrictions that worked before won't work now, and so Tier Four restrictions are likely to be necessary, or even higher than that".

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce any changes to England's tier restrictions on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, the chief of the country's National Health Service (NHS) warned that Britain is "back in the eye of the storm" as the number of patients being treated for Covid-19 in England's hospitals has overtaken the peak in April.

"Now again we are back in the eye of the storm with a second wave of coronavirus sweeping Europe and, indeed, this country," Simon Stevens, the chief executive of the NHS, said during a visit to an NHS vaccination centre.

The British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has urged all regions of England to be placed in highest Tier Four restrictions, which require residents in the areas to stay at home, with limited exemptions. People are also urged to work from home when they can, and should not enter or leave those areas.

The number of coronavirus patients being treated in London hospitals has increased by almost 1,000 since Christmas Eve, stark new figures reveal.

On Monday, there were 4,957 people in hospital with the virus, compared to 3,966 on December 24, a 25 per cent rise in five days.

Unlike the UK as a whole London is yet to exceed its first wave peak of hospital patients, which hit 5,201 on April 9.

London and many other parts of England have already been under Tier Four restrictions. For those in Tiers One, Two and Three, up to three households were allowed to meet only on Christmas Day, while in Tier Four, people should not mix with anyone outside their own household, apart from support bubbles.

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