According to government data, the UK has recorded 39,906 new COVID-19 cases and an additional 84 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours.
The death toll rose 33% last week, but the number of cases declined slightly last Thursday.
For comparison, 44,104 new infections and 73 deaths were announced on Wednesday, with 48,553 cases and 63 deaths reported at this time last week.
Hospitalizations are also on the rise, according to the most recent data.
On July 18, approximately 788 COVID patients were admitted to the hospital, with 5,175 hospitalizations in the past 7 days, a weekly increase of 31.1%.
A total of 128,980 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 in the UK since the pandemic began.
Professor Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia’s Norwich School of Medicine School of Medicine said Thursday was the first time since early May that the number of reported cases has been less than on the same day last week.
“They represent an 18% decline. Also, the increase in the case-per-week rate fell from a high of 43% last Sunday to 24% today.”
But he added that it is still too early to say that cases are declining.
“It’s still too early to see the impact of the easing on Monday 19,” he said. “It will be part of the decrease in cases as many children are no longer being tested because schools are currently closed.”
“It will be noted that this could be a temporary slowdown in the report before it begins to return to exponential growth at the end of next week as a result of the end of last week’s restrictions.”
Hunter said it wasn’t clear whether the third wave would stop until August 9, three weeks after the so-called “Freedom Day”.
“But there are positive signs. Looking at the course of the delta epidemic from early May, it was clear that the rate of increase in the number of cases was already slowing down through June,” he said.
About 45,101 people had their first jab yesterday. This means that 46,433,845 people (87.8% of the population) currently have at least one vaccine against COVID-19 in the UK.
Another 183,338 people had a second jab, and the total number of people currently fully vaccinated against the coronavirus is 36,587,904, or 69.2% of the population.
More than 600,000 alerts have been sent to users of the NHS coronavirus app in a week, with retailers warning of potential shortages due to lack of staff.
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said there is a risk of “losing social consensus” on quarantine if the government doesn’t immediately announce easing of quarantine rules for fully vaccinated people.
From August 16, those who have been in close contact with a confirmed person can skip quarantine if they get double-jab, and will be advised to undergo a PCR test as soon as possible.
But there are fears that many services, such as food production and emergency services, will suffer over the next month as more and more employees are forced to self-quarantine.
A record 618,903 alerts were sent to coronavirus app users in England and Wales from 14 July to 14 July, according to NHS figures, suggesting they were in the vicinity of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
The government has said some workers classified as severe will be exempted from self-isolation, but there is confusion as to which occupations this applies to.
Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said a “very narrow” list of sectors in which workers would be exempt from quarantine rules would be released later today, but Downing Street later said it would instead be an “example of sectors to which exemptions could apply.” suggested that it would.
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