Coronavirus: UK Covid cases at highest level since January

Boris Johnson has defended the government’s plans to lift lockdown in spite of rising cases.

Coronavirus cases in the UK rose above 30,000 on Wednesday, July 7, marking the highest daily number recorded since January 2021.

Data from Wednesday showed a total of 32,548 confirmed cases, with 33 deaths reported within 28 days of a positive test.

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The UKs Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has indicated more caution than the PM around the easing of lockdown.
The UKs Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has indicated more caution than the PM around the easing of lockdown.

At a glance: 5 key points

- The last time daily Covid cases exceeded 30,000 was on January 24, when the country was under full lockdown measures.

- The high infections come ahead of planned lockdown easing on July 19. Boris Johnson has said the relaxation is justified because the link between infection and serious disease or death had been “severed”.

- If infections continue at the current rate, the country could see rates of 100,000 per day as lockdown ends.

- England is currently seeing around 330 hospital admissions a day on average for coronavirus.

- Boris Johnson today defended the policy of continuing self-isolation for those who are double-jabbed and come into contact with a Covid case, which will continue until August 16.

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What’s been said

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, the PM said that while there is a wave of cases, this has not amounted to a large increase in hospitalisations or deaths.

"Scientists are absolutely clear that we have severed the link between infection and serious disease and death," he said.

"Currently there are only a 30th of the deaths that we were seeing at an equivalent position in previous waves of this pandemic."

Earlier in the week, the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance expressed more caution, saying that while the link between cases and hospitalisation has “weakened”, the link is “not completely broken”.

Background

Wednesday figures on coronavirus cases are often higher as a result of the weekend effect.

Even taking this into account, week-on-week there’s been a rise of 43% in cases, but this is slightly lower than what’s been recorded in recent weeks.

In spite of the rise in cases, the government is expected to go ahead with the lifting of lockdown planned for July 19.