UK Covid cases hit new record with 129,471 infections in massive 42% weekly rise


Covid infections climbed by 129,471 today just days after England report its highest-ever daily Covid cases on Christmas Day

A nurse puts on full PPE on a ward for Covid patients at King's College Hospital, in south east London. Picture date: Tuesday December 21, 2021. PA Photo. Medical staff at the hospital, where 102 coronavirus patients are in general beds and 18 are in critical care, have said they are holding out hope they will avoid a huge surge of admissions before Christmas as Omicron spreads across the capital, but are feeling the pressure over staff shortages due to Covid-related absences. See PA story HEALTH Hospitals. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
There have been more than 12 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK since the pandemic began

The UK has recorded 129,471 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours, a new daily record.

It’s a huge 42% increase on last week’s 90629 cases on Tuesday, December 21st.

This means in the past week more than 800,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus – a 30.3 percent increase in cases compared to the week before.

The seven-day rolling rate for positive cases stands at 1,145.4 per 100,000 people – as of December 23.

A week ago (December 21) there were also 86 deaths – while a fortnight ago, 95,063 infections were confirmed alongside 125 deaths.

The rising number of cases has in large part been attributed to the spread of the Omicron variant.

A total of 17,269 new Omicron cases were reported across England and Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Of these, 16,133 were reported in England and 1,136 in Northern Ireland.

The number of deaths in England of people with the Omicron variant has risen to 49, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Scotland recorded its highest daily cases ever over the Christmas period – with a total of 39,204 new confirmed cases from December 25 to 28 (inclusive).

The daily totals were as follows: 8,252 on December 25, 11,030 on December 26, 10,562 on December 27 and 9,360 on December 28.

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The Omicron Covid variant has been the driving force behind skyrocketing case numbers experts claim
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Image:

Jacob King/PA Wire)

Covid-19 patients in hospital in England

A total of 9,546 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on December 28, according to new figures from NHS England.

This is up 38% from a week earlier and is the highest number since March 3.

There was also a jump of more than 1,000 since yesterday when there were 8,474 patients in hospital.

This is still well below the peak in January this year – when patient numbers hit 34,336 on January 18.

In London, 3,024 people were in hospital with Covid-19 on December 28, up 59% week-on-week and the highest number since February 19.

The second-wave peak for London was 7,917 on January 18.

There were a total of 1,374 new hospital admissions in England on Boxing Day – the highest number since February 11.

Hospital admissions in England for people with confirmed or suspected Omicron rose to 668.

Wales has not reported figures yet due to the festive period, while Scotland is no longer separating Omicron cases from other variants in its daily reports.

We’ll be expecting more data on the total number of cases confirmed (including other variants) later this afternoon.

On Monday, the UKHSA confirmed 45,307 additional cases of the variant – bringing the total to 159,932.

A total of 9,546 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on December 28 according to NHS England
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Image:

NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP via Getty Images)

Hospitalisation figures for England published on Monday showed a record 470 children aged up to 17 had been admitted into hospitals in the past seven days.

This data includes 255 youths aged under five.

A startling 50 babies and toddlers were admitted to hospital in the one day between Christmas Eve and 8am on Christmas Day, the data showed.

This represents the biggest weekly rise in child hospital admissions since the pandemic began.

Comparatively, for the same week in November and September, 265 and 287 children were admitted to hospitals respectively.

Government officials are believed to be considering a return of the “rule of six”, according to the Telegraph.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday assured the public no new restrictions would be introduced before the New Year.

But the Government Minister failed to mention if plans are being discussed to roll out new restrictions come January.

Officials are said to be considering a host of potential measures but have yet to present them to ministers.

Covid cases have climbed dramatically over the festive period so far rising by more 350,000 over the three days of Christmas alone

The rule of six is one such restriction being considered – but it is not known if this limit on numbers would be applicable to indoor, outdoor or both settings.

Despite no new restrictions being rolled out ahead of the New Year, ministers including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have urged people to be “cautious”.

Top doctor Professor Sir John Bell today backed the Government’s decision not to invoke tighter restrictions in England.

The Oxford University professor of medicine said the public had been “pretty responsible” in its response to the spread of Omicron.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Health Minister has taken advice and looked at the data. I think his judgement where we should go in the next few days is probably fine.”

The medical expert also said the horrific scenes seen last year, with intensive care wards full and people dying prematurely due to oxygen shortages are “history”.

A study from London South Bank University published today revealed as many as 40% of NHS staff in the capital could soon be off sick, largely due to Covid.

Professor Alison Leary, the chair of workforce modelling at the university, told Sky News she had already been in contact with some organisations who have staff sickness levels of 25-28%.

Normally, sickness levels are between 4-5%.

People in England have been urged to be cautious when celebrating New Year’s Eve

Irish health boss Paul Reid today said Covid was “running rife” in the country.

The chief executive of the Health Service Executive (HSE) said Ireland has seen a positivity rate of up to 50% in testing.

He told RTE’s This Morning programme: “If you think that you have Covid, it’s most likely that you have it.

“It would seem that there’s a peak at some stage. We certainly aren’t at that by any stretch just yet.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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