- The health department has recorded 40,701 new coronavirus infections across the country in the last 24 hours.
- Another 122 Covid deaths recorded today, a decrease of 11 per cent over last Thursday’s figure
- The latest hospital data also shows there were 681 NHS admissions on 3 October, a week-on-week increase of 4 per cent
Daily coronavirus cases in the UK have risen again and the number of patients hospitalized with the virus is on the rise again – but deaths are falling.
The health department recorded 40,701 infections nationwide in the last 24 hours, an increase of nearly 12 per cent from the previous week. This is the first time in a month that cases have risen above 40,000 in a single day.
Another 122 Covid deaths were recorded today, a drop of 11 per cent from last Thursday’s figure. This is the 11th day in a row that there has been a decrease in deaths week after week.
The latest hospital data also shows that there were 681 Covid admissions on October 3, a small increase of 4 per cent over the previous week’s numbers.
The death and hospital numbers are a few weeks behind both cases because of the time it takes for the infection to turn into a serious illness.
As a week of falling cases witnessed yesterday, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict the trajectory of the pandemic.
Separate data from the country’s largest symptom-tracking study suggested today that the number of Britons who fall ill with Covid every day has risen to the highest level since January.
Scientists at King’s College London estimated that 66,033 people were getting infected daily for the week ending 2 October, a 13.6 percent increase from 58,126 a week ago.
Cases in children are turning a corner but are still high, with nearly one in 30 schoolchildren being infected with the virus – nearly three times the next highest rate among 35- to 55-year-olds.
Professor Tim Spector, the epidemiologist who led the study, argued that allowing Covid to run ‘largely’ in schools was ‘a real gamble’. He said he hoped that soon children would have “herd immunity and fewer cases”.
Nadim Zahavi admits MASKS could return to schools this winter to thwart Covid
The Education Secretary acknowledged today that face masks could be brought back to schools this winter to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The saying that all children should wear coverings in classrooms and corridors was removed in mid-May as part of No10’s campaign to learn to live with the virus.
But ministers have made contingency plans in the event of a rapid increase in cases among students.
Nadim Zhawi defended possible measures, including covering up, increased student and staff testing, and protecting vulnerable students.
He stressed that his priority was to ‘protect education’ and keep schools open.
Meanwhile, Mr Zahvi also said he does not want to bring back bubbles, which saw entire classes and year groups sent home if a child tested positive.
The original coronavirus-fighting measures deployed in English schools contributed to 1.1 million children being stuck at home during the most disruptive days of the COVID pandemic.
Ministers said dropping face masks would improve interactions between teachers and students, while eliminating bubbles would reduce disruption to education.
It came as new Education Secretary Nadim Zhawi acknowledged that face masks could return to schools this winter if cases show no signs of slowing.
The ZOE Covid Study figures are based on data from 44,958 recent swab tests conducted between September 18 and October 2. The app has around 750,000 weekly contributors in total.
It estimated that last week, on average, about 30,000 children under the age of 18 caught the virus each day, up slightly from the previous seven days. The data suggests that cases may peak across age groups.
The study noted that around 14,000 adults aged 35 to 55 were contracting Covid every day at the start of the month, a number that has been rising since the start of the new school term from mid-September.
Cases were few and stable among people over the age of 50, with just over 4,000.
It is estimated that one in 30 children between the ages of 10 and 19 currently have COVID. Of the four home countries, only Scotland is seeing a national decline in cases.
Professor Spector said: ‘Covid may be less severe in children, but letting Covid run rampant among them is a real gamble.
‘More than one in 30 older school children are now infected and as we predict the numbers will rise, many will not survive long-term symptoms.
‘These are the highest rates since January 2021. Without vaccination or banning in this group, we can only hope that some kind of herd immunity will kick in and cases will subside.
He said: ‘The good news this week is that our latest research shows that having a natural COVID infection before double vaccination means more protection.
‘This is really positive news for overall immunity levels in the UK and it means that a large number of people will have effective and long-term protection from COVID.
‘The evidence supports the need for vaccination, even for people who already have COVID.
‘We need to be less complacent and focus more on getting everyone vaccinated before winter to keep up with the efforts of other countries without sanctions.’
Meanwhile, face masks may be brought back to schools this winter to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the education secretary acknowledged today.
According to a symptom-tracking study, the number of Britons who fell ill with Covid rose by nearly 14 per cent last week to their highest level since January.
Cases fell in 95 of the 149 local authorities, with the biggest declines seen in Swindon (47 per cent), South Gloucestershire (47 per cent) and West Berkshire (40 per cent). The map shows: The percentage change in the rate of cases among officials in England…