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UK announces 36,804 new Covid cases today - its highest daily increase

It tops the previous daily record of 35,928, which was recorded on Sunday.

A Christmas gift shop is packed away in Canterbury, Kent.
A Christmas gift shop is packed away in Canterbury, Kent.
Image: PA Images

THE UK GOVERNMENT has announced a further 36,804 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK – its highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began.

It tops the previous daily record of 35,928, which was recorded on Sunday.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,110,314.

A further 691 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 it added, bringing the UK total to 68,307.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 84,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The new variant

The surge of Covid-19 cases in the south-east of England and London is thought to be partly because of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 which is easier to spread. This has not been confirmed by testing yet, and is still unclear if it is in fact ’cause and effect’. 

The new variant of coronavirus is more transmissible because those who contract it produce more of the infection in their nose and mouth, meaning they will breathe more of it into the air, according to The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group committee member Professor Robert Dingwall.

Professor Dingwall, who is a leading medical sociologist and sits in committee meetings with Nervtag virologists every week, said: “My understanding of it is that you are producing more of the infection in the upper respiratory tract and the virus is reproducing faster so that there is more to go into the air, to pass from one person to another.

It doesn’t travel further, but having produced more it also has properties that make it easier to take over cells in person that it enters into.

Twelve local areas

Here in Ireland, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that there are over 900 new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours. 

Covid-19 case rates are now above 1,000 cases per 100,000 people in 12 local areas of the UK, the latest data shows.

Three of the areas are in Wales: Merthyr Tydfil, where the rate is currently 1,336.1 – the highest anywhere in the UK; Bridgend, where the rate is 1,145.9; and Blaenau Gwent, where the rate is 1,002.

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The other nine areas are in England: Thurrock (1,257.3), Havering (1,190.9), Epping Forest (1,146.6), Brentwood (1,095.8), Basildon (1,080.1), Medway (1,054.4), Rochford (1,041.6), Redbridge (1,040.6) and Castle Point (1,011.3).

All figures are based on data published this afternoon and are for the 7 days to 18 December.

With reporting from the Press Association

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