By Simon Abaho
Britain’s daily Covid cases surged 70 percent in a week today and hospitalizations ticked upwards, but there are still ten times fewer patients in the NHS now than at the same time during the second wave.
Health chiefs posted another 27,125 infections spotted in the last 24 hours, up on the 15,810 recorded last Friday and the fifth day in a row the daily figure has surged above 20,000.
Latest data shows there were 304 patients admitted with the virus on June 28, which was up a third on the last week. Despite the rise, current levels are still 10 times lower than the last time infections were this high at the end of the second wave.
Another 27 deaths were also recorded today, up 50 percent on the 18 recorded last Friday. There were more than a thousand deaths every day in late January when daily cases were the last running at above 20,000.
It comes as an Office for National Statistics report published today estimated England’s Covid outbreak has surged by two-thirds in a week, but cases are still flat among the elderly.
The ONS study — which randomly swabs 100,000 people — estimated there were 211,100 infections in the country in the week to June 26, up 72 percent on last week and the highest since late February.
And No10’s top scientists revealed today England’s R rate has dropped for the first time in months. They estimated the reproduction rate — the average number of people each Covid patient infects — was between 1.1 to 1.3 this week, down from 1.2 to 1.4 where it had been stagnant for several weeks.
Commenting on the findings, Oxford University’s Professor James Naismith said it was thanks to vaccines that surging cases were not fuelling a spike in deaths, adding the UK’s ‘point of maximum danger has probably passed’.
The infectious disease expert, and director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, said: ‘The Prime Minister’s decision to delay unlocking for a month has been validated; more people have been vaccinated and Delta (Indian variant) has been slowed.’
More than 45million Britons — or 85.5 percent of adults — have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine after 152,525 jabs were administered yesterday. And 33.2million — or 63.1 percent — have got both doses.