In recent days the number of new cases has hovered around the 90,000 mark after peaking at nearly 220,000 new cases in early January
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Britain has recorded 102,292 new Covid cases over the past 24 hours while 346 more deaths were confirmed within 28 days of a positive test.
This is a 5.6% increase on figures recorded last Wednesday.
The latest figures mark an increase on the number of cases recorded this time last week, and mark a reversal on the downwards trend seen in infections following the New Year period.
In recent days the number of new cases has hovered around the 90,000 mark after peaking at nearly 220,000 new cases in early January.
Case numbers have substantially dropped since peaking around New Year’s – with 245,182 cases recorded on January 4.
However, the lag between catching Covid and falling ill, and then falling seriously ill and dying, means death rates are spiking now.
The UK recorded 94,326 cases yesterday and have once again increased today, suggesting the decline in cases has been brought to a halt.
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The 439 deaths recorded over the 24 hours to Tuesday 4pm marked the highest number of deaths confirmed in one day since February 20 last year.
New data suggests the Omicron strain caused unprecedented levels of coronavirus infection in England this month with the new variety almost completely replacing Delta.
The highest prevalence was seen in primary school children at 7.81%, while overall it was 4.41% between January 5 and 20 this year.
It means that during this period one in 23 people in England was infected with Covid.
The latest figures come just hours before Covid Plan B measures are due to be axed in England tomorrow.
This means that mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, work-from-home guidance and the need for Covid passes will all be axed, despite rates of Omicron infection still surging across the country.
UK will revert to Plan A with a focus on vaccine rollout, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid warning last Wednesday that it’s “not the end of the road” even if the number of cases are falling.
Work-from-home guidance ended last week, with people returning to offices almost immediately after it was axed. Similarly, face coverings are no longer a legal requirement in public spaces including transport and shops. Face masks will also no longer be required in classrooms.
The scrapping of Covid tests required for travelers reentering the UK also signals the continuation of efforts to learn to live with Covid.
The elimination of the tests, no longer needed from February 11, also led to a boom in bookings for people keen to escape for the February half-term of Easter break.
Meanwhile the country is awaiting the publication of Sue Gray’s report into the various Downing Street parties – which it’s thought could lead to the end of Boris Johnson’s leadership.
The Met police yesterday confirmed they were investigating the number of potentially law-breaking ‘events’ thrown by No.10 throughout the pandemic.
One of these ‘events’ was reportedly a surprise birthday party thrown for Boris Johnson which involved cake.
Despite originally resisting calls to investigate any of the 15 reported parties which were thrown at various stages during lockdown, Cressida Dick has confirmed that the police would look into the claims.
The report by top civil servant Sue Gray has looked into the same events.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.