14.06.2024

More than 50,000 daily UK cases recorded for the sixth consecutive day

The numbers also show that another 454 people have died with Covid-19, taking the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the UK to 75,024.

A further 54,990 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK – making this the sixth day in a row that new cases have topped 50,000, according to the latest government figures.

Deaths in England accounted for 85 per cent (386) of the recent fatality data, according to the NHS.

The patients were reportedly aged between 30 and 107 and all except 18 (who were aged between 59 and 95) of those had known underlying health conditions.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,654,779.

Public Health Wales recorded 56 deaths while Northern Ireland reported six. Scotland did not report any further coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday.

It comes as a swathe of schools are set to reopen across the nation on Monday, prompting Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to call for a national lockdown to start within the next 24 hours.

“The virus is clearly out of control,” Sir Keir told reporters on Sunday afternoon. “And there’s no good the prime minister hinting that further restrictions are coming into place in a week, or two or three.”

He said Boris Johnson’s delays had already “been the source of so many problems” and that “national restrictions” must be imposed “within the next 24 hours”.

“That has to be the first step towards controlling the virus,” he added.

Mr Johnson has been under pressure to close schools altogether, amid a nationwide surge in Covid cases with teaching unions saying classrooms should keep their doors closed for at least another two weeks.

However, on Sunday the prime minister signalled he had no intention of telling schools to remain closed. Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Johnson said there was “no doubt in my mind that schools are safe, and that education is a priority”.

This is despite the fact scientists have said the new variant of coronavirus, which was first detected in the UK last month, is not only more transmissible in adults but in children and younger people too.

SAGE adviser says he doesn’t rule out closing schools

Professor Sir Mark Walport, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), warned on Sunday that it would be difficult to keep the new variant under control without “much tighter” social distancing measures.

Asked if this included closing schools, the former chief scientific adviser told Andrew Marr: “We know that transmission occurs within schools.

“We know that a person between 12 and 16 is seven times more likely than others in a household to bring the infection into a household.”

“And we know that there was a small dip in the amount of transmission in school children after the half term, which then went up again when they went back.”

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