COVID cases have almost doubled in a week with another 6,048 people testing positive in the last 24 hours.
Today’s coronavirus daily case figure, up from 3,165 last week, marks the largest week-on-week leap since before Christmas, with infections surging 91 per cent in the past seven days.
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Covid cases have almost doubled in a week[/caption]
The UK last saw a similar rise on December 22, when cases almost doubled to 36,000 in seven days.
Today’s government figures showed 13 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total death toll to 127,584.
The case figures today mark the second time reported infection numbers have been higher than 6,000 in the last week, with 6,238 cases reported on Friday.
The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus is now 4,528,442.
Another 112,941 first vaccine jabs were given in the last 24 hours with the overall number now 40,573,517, or 77 per cent of adults.
There were were 306,068 second doses of the vaccine given, with the overall total of Brits now fully protected 28,227,362, more than 53 per cent of adults.
The rise in cases over the past week comes as the Indian – or Delta – variant has spiked in parts of the country.
Today, up to four million more Brits were told not to travel and the Army was scrambled to help amid the rise in cases.
It comes as England’s June 21 ‘Freedom Day’ unlocking was plunged into doubt amid fears Boris Johnson was considering up to a month-long delay to his roadmap.
The Royal Army Medical Corps re administering jabs, with assistance from the Royal Horse Artillery on a ‘vaccination bus’ in Bolton[/caption]
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance reportedly produced “fairly grim” data on the Indian “Delta” variant, it’s reported.
Step 4 of the PM’s roadmap – the final phase – will end all legal restrictions on social contact.
But Environment Secretary George Eustice this morning dismissed the idea the situation was “grim” and hailed the vaccination drive.
He said: “The critical test is are people who have had the vaccine getting infected.”
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said yesterday vaccines have “broken the chain” between catching the virus and becoming seriously ill.
But he warned the new Indian variant will “spread even faster” if lockdown restrictions are lifted on June 21.
I am quite optimistic that we will have Freedom Day before the summer break
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he reckoned any delay would be a matter of weeks and won’t send summer plans up in smoke.
He told Sky News: “I am quite optimistic that we will have Freedom Day before the summer break.
“And because we know that two jabs is effective against the Delta Indian variant, if it does get put back from June 21st, my own hunch is that there’ll be a matter of weeks, rather than anything that will really interrupt people’s plans for the summer.”
Meanwhile, people in Greater Manchester and Lancashire were hit with new travel rules as a huge vaccination surge is launched to combat spiralling Covid cases.
A vaccination bus has been parked outside Bolton Town Hall[/caption]
More than 53 per cent of adults in the UK have now had both jabs of their Covid vaccination[/caption]
People are urged to meet outside rather than at home and to keep two metres apart from those outside their household.
They should also “minimise travel in and out of affected areas” and keep working from home where possible.
Mask-wearing is also expected to be reintroduced in schools to help stop the spread of the virus among the young.
ARMY CALLED IN
But Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham insisted the guidance is “not a lockdown”.
The new guidance, which is not legally binding, applies in Bedford, Blackburn, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow, and North Tyneside.
Similar emergency measures have helped turn the tide in Bolton, which was the first major Indian variant hotspot in the country.
The Army will be sent in to help with a huge new jabbing drive in a mirror of measures introduced in neighbouring Bolton last month.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a “strengthened package of support” for both council areas in the Commons today.
People are being told to “minimise” travel in and out of the two areas, which are experiencing the sharpest rise in infections in the country.
Earlier, the NHS vaccine site was swamped as bookings opened to over 25s – only for some to be told they weren’t eligible.
Brits aged 25-29 were urged to book their vaccine today, but some were left disappointed as they were unable to access the site.
Meanwhile, the UK is the only country in Europe seeing a surge in Covid cases, grim graphs reveal.
But the true figure is likely to be twice as high, given that only half of Covid tests are screened to see which variant they were caused by.
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Daily new cases per million people have doubled in the UK between May 25 and June 7, according to official Covid figures collected by Our World in Data.
During the same period, other EU nations have continued on a downward trend.
Only France has seen a marginal uptick in cases, as health officials say there have been scattered clusters of the Delta strain.