UK coronavirus cases verge on 3,000 in 24 hours

The United Kingdom registered almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases over 24 hours, a level not seen since late May, health ministry figures showed Sunday.

The government said two more people had died after testing positive over the past 28 days, bringing the overall UK toll to 41,551, Europe’s highest. In addition, 2,988 new cases were recorded, significantly higher than the 1,813 registered Saturday.

“The rise in the number of cases that we have seen today is concerning,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock as Britain digested the highest number of daily cases since 2,959 on May 23.

Hancock said the latest sufferers are predominantly young people but cautioned against behaviour that might allow a spread to the elderly.

Hancock said it was “important that people don’t allow this illness to infect their grandparents and to lead to the sort of problems that we saw earlier in the year” when the health system battled to contain the virus as the toll inexorably rose.

The concern is that increased transmission generally heightens the risk that the virus could get passed on to the elderly and people with underlying health problems.

Opposition Labour health spokesman Jonathan Ashworth urged Hancock to update lawmakers on the government’s approach in parliament on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government says it will tighten local restrictions in areas showing sharp rises in cases rather than impose a second national lockdown for fear of its effect on the economy.

Such restrictions would include limiting household contacts.

Sunday saw 124 new admissions to hospital of virus sufferers, bringing the total to 756 with 69 on ventilators. (AFP)

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