UK reports another 35,707 coronavirus cases


Britain has reported another 35,707 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 5,058,093, according to official figures released on Friday.

The country also recorded another 29 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 128,365. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Nearly 45.7 million people in Britain have received the first jab of Covid-19 vaccine and over 34.3 million people have received two doses, the official figures showed.

England’s coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has risen slightly to between 1.2 and 1.5, up from between 1.1 and 1.3 last week, according to the latest estimate by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a British government advisory body.

An R value between 1.2 and 1.5 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people. An outbreak can grow exponentially when the figure is above one.

Meanwhile, the growth rate range of coronavirus is 3 per cent to 7 per cent, which means that the number of new infections is growing by between 3 per cent and 7 per cent every day.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease in risk groups is approximately 60 per cent after one dose of either the AstraZeneca vaccine or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with little variation by age, according to a study released on Friday by the Public Health England.

After two doses, vaccine effectiveness is 81 per cent with AstraZeneca among people in risk groups aged 16 to 64. No data is available for Pfizer-BioNTech. Among people in risk groups aged 65 and over, vaccine effectiveness with Pfizer-BioNTech is 89 per cent and 80 per cent with AstraZeneca.

Although age is the greatest risk factor for adverse outcomes following Covid-19 infection, certain health conditions also increase the risk of severe disease.

Diabetes, severe asthma, chronic heart disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, neurological disease, and diseases or therapies that weaken the immune system – such as blood cancer, HIV or chemotherapy – have all been linked to an increased risk of hospitalization or death with Covid-19, according to the PHE.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the US as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.