U.K. Reports Most New Coronavirus Cases Since Pandemic Started

The U.K. reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic, breaking a record set at the peak of the first wave.

A further 6,634 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Thursday by Public Health England, the agency tracking the data, according to an email sent to Bloomberg News.

The milestone is “a stark warning for us all,” Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said.

“The signals are clear. Positivity rates are rising across all age groups and we’re continuing to see spikes in rates of admission to hospital and critical care.”

The figure comes amid a resurgence of the virus across Europe that has prompted the reintroduction of emergency measures to try to limit its spread. But comparing the current case tally with numbers from six months earlier can be misleading, because the U.K.’s testing capacity has almost doubled, unearthing many more infections.

That’s why scientists are also looking at deaths and hospitalizations, among other indicators, to track the pandemic. Those have remained lower, with 40 deaths reported on Thursday compared with 698 on May 1, the day of the previous record for fatalities.

The U.K. appeared to have controlled the new virus until late August when the number of new cases started increasing rapidly. Local measures tackling virus hotspots failed to control its spread, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to roll back his advice for people to return to their workplaces and to impose stricter enforcement measures.

On Monday, Johnson’s scientific advisers warned that the country is on course for 50,000 new cases a day by the middle of October without urgent action.

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