Coronavirus cases rise as UK’s R number creeps above 1

A coronavirus testing centre in England

"The more people who wash their hands and practice social distancing - especially between and around the vulnerable - the number of deaths and disease decreases", he said.

According to a government-backed surveillance project, the infection rate is rising across all age groups, apart from those over 65, and cases are no longer clustering in hospitals or care homes as they were a few months ago.

The most recent two rounds involved 150,000 nose and throat swabs taken between July 24 and August 11 and another 150,000 between August 22 and September 7.

It follows the announcement of new restrictions that limit social gatherings to six people from Monday.

The ONS said the rate of new infections in private households was estimated to be at an average of 3,200 people per day between August 30 and September 5, up from 2,000 the previous week.

In Scotland, 221 people tested positive, the highest daily figure since 8 May, as local lockdown measures were expanded to include North and South Lanarkshire.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of study at Imperial College London, said the figures clearly showed "a trend towards coronavirus infections" where cases were growing rapidly across England and "now leading workers Are not concentrated in ".

However the virus is still at much lower levels than at the peak of the pandemic in April.

In Wales, the ONS estimates there was no increase in cases during the first week of September, with 1,200 people continuing to have the virus.

He said there was evidence of a "community epidemic" that was not the result of testing more people. This is a critical time and it's vital that the public, our health system and policymakers are aware of the situation as we can not afford complacency'.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said: "We've seen all across the world how a rise in cases, initially among younger people, leads to hospitalisations and fatalities". In the most recent round of testing, Black and Asian people were more than twice as likely as white people to test positive (0.2% prevalence vs 0.08%).

"This is a massive blow to the government's strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19", said Simon Clarke, an expert in cellular microbiology at Britain's University of Reading.

Out of 152,909 swab results, 136 were positive.

The United Kingdom reported 3,539 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, up by one-fifth from Thursday's figure, and the highest level since mid-May.

Prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North West at 0.17 per centfollowed by 0.16 per cent in the North East.

Young people aged 18-24 were also significantly more likely to be infected than all other age groups (0.25% prevalence, up from 0.08% between 24th July and 11th August), while the lowest rates were found in those aged 65 and above (0.04%).

The prevalence of infection increased at all ages from 18-64 years between July and August 2020.

Senior police officers have warned people against meeting in large numbers for one last "party weekend" before tougher restrictions come in.

The Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) programme was commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care.

And the third set of statistics, from Covid Symptoms Study App, Which traces the health of around 4 million people in the United Kingdom, also suggests an increase in new cases from the end of August - the first significant increase since mid-June.



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