The increase in infections scares Britain, the figures were not so high since 22 Mayand scientists warn the country about the risk of a second spike.
In the previous 24 hours, there were 2,988 new cases of Covid-19 tests up on Sunday from 1,813. Since May 22, the number is the highest daily figure, but for now a nationwide lockdown remains the last resort.
The increase in cases happened after testing was patchy and many Covid sufferers slipped under the radar.
Nationwide lockdown as a last resort
Tory minister George Eustice admitted the new rise is a “significant jump” and can’t be blamed on better testing. He also said that the part of this is because the government testing more, but the proportion of tests coming back positive has risen too. With most of the new cases in young people, who are less vulnerable to Covid-19, Mr Eustice said it is possible some young people are becoming “complacent”.
George Eustice told that the government is keeping its focus on “hotspots” and “local lockdowns“, monitoring outbreaks with the disaster-prone Test and Trace system. He also revealed that these local lockdowns can have an impact and can be successful.
” I think that’s the approach we want to take – not a full-scale national lockdown, but a local approach responding to flare-ups where we see them.” Mr Eustice said. He also added that a full national lockdown, like the on March 23, it would be an absolute last resort. It comes after fury at a backlog in the testing system which built up after an IT failure at a ‘Lighthouse’ lab.
Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, warned the UK could be entering “a period of exponential growth” in the spread of the virus. He said that the report numbers are generally lower than most other days of the week.
Mr Hunter told, “Some of that increase may be because of catch-up from delayed tests over the past few days due to the widely reported difficulties the UK testing service has faced dealing with the number of tests being requested. Nevertheless, this represents a marked increase in the seven-day rolling average of 1,812 cases per day compared to 1,244 a week ago and 1,040 a week before that.”
Prof Gabriel Scally, a former NHS regional director of public health for the South West added, “They’ve lost control of the virus. It’s no longer small outbreaks they can stamp on. It’s become endemic in our poorest communities and this is the result. It’s extraordinarily worrying when schools are opening and universities are going to be going back.”
Record increase and failure of tests
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth called for Health Secretary Matt Hancock to appear before Parliament this afternoon over the record rise. Mr Ashworth said. “This increase, combined with the ongoing testing fiasco where ill people are told to drive for miles for tests, and the poor performance of the contact tracing system, needs an explanation from ministers. Matt Hancock must come to the House of Commons (Monday) to set out what is being done to get testing back on track and bring case numbers down.”
Mr Hancock described the increase as “concerning”. He also added that the cases are predominantly among younger people. The government have seen in other countries across the world and in Europe this sort of rising in the cases amongst younger people leading to rising across the population as a whole.
“It’s so important that people don’t allow this illness to infect their grandparents and to lead to the sorts of problems that we saw earlier in the year.” He said.