UK records nearly 50,000 new coronavirus cases

Another 49,139 people in the UK have tested positive for Covid-19, marking the largest daily rise since lockdown rules ended in the country three months ago, according to official figures released Wednesday.

For the eighth consecutive day, more than 40,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 8,589,737, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country also reported a further 179 coronavirus-related deaths.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in the UK now stands at 139,031. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

There are currently 7,891 patients in hospital with Covid-19.

The latest data came as Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted there will not be another national lockdown after an National Health Service (NHS) leader warned that “Plan B” coronavirus restrictions must be enforced immediately to prevent “a winter crisis”.

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor has urged the government to bring back certain measures, including mandatory face coverings in public places, telling Sky News: “The overwhelming evidence is that we do need to act.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said on Monday that Downing Street was keeping a “very close watch” on the latest statistics, but suggested case rates, hospitalisations and deaths were “still broadly in line with” government modelling as set out a few months ago.

“The vaccination programme will continue to be our first line of defence, along with new treatments, testing and public health advice,” said the spokesperson.

More than 86 per cent of people aged 12 and over in the UK have had their first dose of vaccine and around 79 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.