The UK reported another 223 coronavirus-related deaths, the highest number of fatalities recorded in one day since 231 were recorded on March 9, according to official figures released Tuesday.
The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 138,852. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, Xinhua news agency reported.
Another 43,738 people in the UK have tested positive for Covid-19 as the country recorded more than 40,000 Covid cases on the seventh consecutive day. It brought the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 8,541,192.
There are currently 7,749 patients in hospital with Covid-19.
The latest data came after the country reported 49,156 cases of Covid-19 on Monday, marking the largest daily rise since lockdown rules ended in England three months ago.
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said Downing Street was keeping a “very close watch” on the latest statistics, but suggested case rates, hospitalizations and deaths were “still broadly in line with” government modeling as the UK has lifted most Covid restrictions.
Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the “very rapid rise” in the number of cases in the country is a “reflection of how people are behaving”.
“Nobody” appears to be wearing masks inside anymore, adding he doubts few people are doing lateral flow tests as required, he told Sky News.
Around 86 per cent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 78 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called for “urgent research” into a mutation of the delta variant — known as delta plus — following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the U.K.
“We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion,” Gottlieb said in a tweet.
Gottlieb’s comments come as the U.K. reported the highest daily jump in new cases on Sunday since mid-July — around when Prime Boris Johnson authorized the removal of most Covid-related restrictions in what was dubbed “Freedom Day.”
(With IANS inputs)