UK Covid cases rise by a quarter compared to last Saturday's data

Covid cases rise by a quarter on last week: UK records 38,351 infections in a day as deaths increase by two to 157

  • Department of Health posted 38,351 new infections today, up 24.95 per cent on the 30,693 last Saturday
  • The number of people dying with the virus also rose 1.2 per cent to 157, up from the 155 recorded last week
  • Hospitalisations fell to 968 on Tuesday, the latest date data is available for – which is down 8.9 per cent 

Week-on-week Covid cases rose in the UK by a quarter on Saturday, as lockdown measures were reimposed in European countries and Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of ‘storm clouds’ brewing over the continent.

The Department of Health posted 38,351 confirmed infections today, up by almost a quarter (24.95 per cent) on the 30,693 that were recorded on Saturday, November 6. 

Saturday marked the first day since Thursday that daily confirmed case numbers did not rise in the UK, as figures surged in the latter half of the week and brought an abrupt end to nearly a fortnight of falling infection numbers.

The number of people dying with the virus also rose on Saturday by 1.2 percent, to 157 up from the 155 that were published last Saturday.

Hospitalisations tumbled by 8.9 per cent on Tuesday, the most recent date that data is available, down to 968 from 1,055. There are about 8,600 Covid patients in English hospitals now compared to more than 12,000 at the same point last year.

However ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson said today  that a Netherlands-style lockdown is ‘unlikely’ in Britain despite an ‘uptick’ in Covid cases in the UK.

The member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said Britain’s situation is different from other European nations as the wave of infections seems to be peetering out.

The professor at Imperial College London told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We’ve had two or three weeks of declining cases and admission to hospitals – that may be petering out, it is too early to say.

‘There is a hint of an uptick in the last few days.

‘But we are in quite a different situation from those European countries you are talking about (the Netherlands, Germany).

‘We’ve had very high case numbers – between 30,000 and 50,000 a day – really for the last four months, since the beginning of July.

‘That has obviously had some downsides. It has also paradoxically had an upside of boosting the immunity of the population compared with countries like Germany, the Netherlands and France, which have had much lower case numbers and are only now seeing an uptick.’

The new data comes as epidemiologists, including ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, said it was ‘unlikely’ UK would not have to follow in the footsteps of European countries like the Netherlands and Austria in re-imposing lockdown measures this winter.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared the continent’s surging Covid outbreak to ‘storm clouds’ that could hit Britain next as infections continued to rise in the UK. 

And England’s ‘wall of immunity’ was praised as a mass-testing study by the Office for National Statistics showed the total size of the country’s Covid outbreak shrank by 16 per cent last week to below 1million. 

Total size of England’s Covid outbreak SHRANK by 16% last week to below 1million, mass-testing study shows as experts praise nation’s ‘wall of immunity’… but one in 60 people were still infected on any day 

England’s Covid outbreak shrank in size by 16 per cent last week, official figures revealed today as experts hailed the country’s ‘wall of immunity’ for keeping the virus at bay.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), a Government agency which analyses tens of thousands of random tests to track the spread of the infection, estimated 925,400 people were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6.

It equates to one in 60 people being infected and is a marked drop on the calculation of 1,103,300 published last week, which had yet to indicate any downturn despite a swathe of separate data showing England’s outbreak was naturally retreating.

Cases appear to be dropping in all age groups, most notably among 11 to 16-year-olds. But around 4.8 per cent of secondary school pupils were still thought to have been carrying the virus in the last week, compared to roughly 7.5 per cent during half-term week.

Meanwhile, Government advisers today also revealed the R rate has fallen the second consecutive week. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) now estimates the rate stands at between 0.8 and 1, offering more proof that the outbreak is in decline.  

One expert claimed the drop has been triggered ‘almost entirely by the wall of immunity, rather than behavioural changes or restrictions’, with the combination of the explosion in cases triggered by schools going back and the country’s vaccination drive credited for the drop.   

Separate data published yesterday confirmed the trend. The UK’s largest symptom-tracking study revealed cases fell by almost a fifth in the biggest weekly drop since the summer. 

But Department for Health testing statistics yesterday showed Covid cases increased 14 per cent on the previous week, marking the first rise in 10 days. But hospitalisations and deaths both fell week-on-week. 

In other Covid developments: 

  • Protestors clashed with riot police in the Netherlands and demonstrations took place in Austria as lockdown measures were reimposed as Covid cases rose on the continent
  • ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson said it is ‘unlikely’ that Britain will need to follow the lead of European countries like the Netherlands and Austria in adopting winter lockdown measures
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared Europe’s escalating Covid crisis to brewing ‘storm clouds’ that could hit Britain as he urged the public to get booster jabs 
  • But England’s ‘wall of immunity’ was praised by experts as a mass-testing study showed the total size of the country’s Covid outbreak shrank by 16 per cent last week to below 1million

Austria will become the first Western European country to impose a lockdown since the summer from Monday, with unvaccinated people in the two worst-hit regions subjected to restrictions again. 

The Netherlands is also reintroducing an 8pm curfew on bars, restaurants and other amenities from today.

A group of around 200 anti-lockdown protesters clashed with riot police outside  the government building in The Hague where Dutch PM Mark Rutte was speaking. Several people were detained for setting off fireworks and throwing objects at the police.

Armed with placards, whistles and megaphones, protestors initially began with a peaceful demonstration but scenes eventually turned to chaos as bicycles, projectiles and road signs were being thrown and flares let off. 

Meanwhile, similar action was taken in Austria on Friday evening after Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced plans to impose lockdown measures on unvaccinated members of the population. 

In Linz, Austria’s third-largest city, hundreds of protestors lined the streets to rage at the prospective measures which would come into force from Sunday. 20 per cent of intensive care beds are being used by Covid patients in the country, according to Reuters. 

And in Milan, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was pictured greeting anti-vaxxers and addressing a crowd of protestors as demonstrations against Covid jabs continue in the Italian city.

The news comes as Boris Johnson used Europe’s soaring epidemic as a warning of what’s to come if Britons don’t get their booster vaccines. 

No10 has said it will only revert to its winter Covid ‘Plan B’ strategy if the NHS faces ‘unsustainable’ pressure, which ministers argue is not the case yet despite health leaders insisting otherwise. 

‘I’ve got to be absolutely frank with people, we’ve been here before – and we remember what happens when a wave starts rolling in,’ Mr Johnson said during a visit to a pharmacy in South London.

The PM, who is currently embroiled in a Tory sleaze row, warned that Britain’s fate this winter hinges on how many people get their boosters. ‘What I’m saying today is the urgency of getting that booster jab is more evident than ever,’ he said.

‘If you can get it, it’s a great thing, the levels of protection it gives you are terrific and so over-50s, who we’re calling forward, should come and get it.’

But he added: ‘What I’m also saying is that if we don’t do it fast enough, we can see the potential risks to the state of the pandemic in what’s happening in other parts of Europe.’ 

Coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have been rising for a month after most social distancing measures were scrapped in late September, and reached their highest level since July in the past week. Meanwhile, cases in the UK have trended downwards since October 24

Covid-related deaths in the Netherlands have been trending up since the start of November according to data, with hospitals put under strain

There are about 8,600 Covid patients in English hospitals now compared to more than 12,000 at the same point last year. Pictured: Ambulances parked outside A&E at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, Merseyside

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protestors clashed with riot police in The Hague in the Netherlands on Friday evening as a raft of new lockdown measures were announced and due to come into force from Saturday

The Army will continue helping two health boards with acute services after their request for the assistance to be extended was approved by the Ministry of Defence.

Army personnel were called in to help NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders in October amid pressures on the health service.

A request by the health boards to extend the acute services Military Aid to the Civilian Authority (MACA) task, which was originally due to last until November 10, has now been approved by Ministry of Defence, the Army said.

In total 84 personnel will continue with the work, with 21 personnel in the Borders and 63 in Lanarkshire.

Their involvement is expected to continue until December 8 in the Borders and December 17 in Lanarkshire, with the timelines kept under regular review.

The Army is also supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service with non-emergency drivers and delivering testing through mobile units.

An Army statement said: ‘More than 450 Armed Forces personnel are supporting multiple MACA tasks in Scotland. These tasks fall under Operation Rescript, defence’s efforts to support the UK’s response to the pandemic which began in March 2020.

‘Defence have supported communities across the UK throughout the pandemic, from planning support alongside resilience teams and governments, to ambulance drivers and health care assistants in hospitals, as well as the vaccine rollout.

‘The Armed Forces stand ready to step up and support civil authorities, devolved nations and communities as required in the coming months where the requests meet the MACA principles.’ 

Professor Lockdown Neil Ferguson has said that a Netherlands-style lockdown is ‘unlikely’ in Britain despite an ‘uptick’ in Covid cases in the UK.

The member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said Britain’s situation is different from other European nations as the wave of infections seems to be peetering out.

The professor at Imperial College London told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:  ‘We’ve had two or three weeks of declining cases and admission to hospitals – that may be petering out, it is too early to say.

‘There is a hint of an uptick in the last few days.

‘But we are in quite a different situation from those European countries you are talking about (the Netherlands, Germany).

‘We’ve had very high case numbers – between 30,000 and 50,000 a day – really for the last four months, since the beginning of July.

‘That has obviously had some downsides. It has also paradoxically had an upside of boosting the immunity of the population compared with countries like Germany, the Netherlands and France, which have had much lower case numbers and are only now seeing an uptick.’ 

The epidemiologist, whose modelling helped instigate the first lockdown last year, said he hopes the UK can ‘avoid’ returning to social distancing restrictions this winter.

He said: ‘I think it is unlikely we will get anything close to what we had last year, that catastrophic winter wave.

‘We might see slow increases as we did in October, for instance, but not anything as rapid as we saw last year.

‘We can’t be complacent, but at the moment I don’t think we’ll be in a situation the Netherlands is coming into where they really do need to get on top of rising case numbers using social distancing.

‘I very much hope we can avoid that in this country.’

The expert also said modelling from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has indicated that rolling out booster vaccinations to the ‘younger age groups’ once the most vulnerable have been jabbed could help ‘drive down transmission to low levels’ in Britain.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which calculates case numbers based on thousands of random swab tests, found 925,400 people in the country were infected on any given day in the week ending November 6. 

The figure equates to one in 60 people having the virus and is 16.1 per cent lower than the estimated 1,103,300 cases one week earlier, when one in 50 people were thought to be infected.

And cases appear to be dropping in all age groups, most notably among 11 to 16-year-olds, with 4.8 per cent thought to have the virus in the last week, compared to 7.5 in the previous seven days.

It comes as one expert said the drop has been triggered ‘almost entirely by the wall of immunity, rather than behavioural changes or restrictions’. 

Separate data published on Thursday confirmed the trend. The UK’s largest symptom-tracking study revealed cases fell by almost a fifth in the biggest weekly drop since the summer. 

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