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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020
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UK lockdown extended for three more weeks as number of coronavirus cases passes 100,000

861 new deaths were confirmed this evening, bringing the UK death toll to 13,729.

Screen grab of UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during today's media briefing.
Screen grab of UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during today's media briefing.
Image: PA Video

LOCKDOWN MEASURES TO slow the spread of coronavirus in the UK have been extended for at least three more weeks as the number of positive cases there passes 100,000.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, deputising Boris Johnson, said relaxing the lockdown would risk a significant increase in the spread of Covid-19 in the UK. 

Announcing the extension of the measures for at least three weeks, he said:

“Earlier today I chaired meetings of the Cabinet and Cobra to consider the advice from Sage on the impact of the existing social distancing measures.

“There are indications that the measures we have put in place have been successful in slowing down the spread of this virus. But Sage also say that is a mixed and inconsistent picture and, in some settings, infections are still likely to be increasing.”

The rate of infection – the R0 value – was “almost certainly below one in the community”, meaning infected people were passing the disease on to fewer than one other person on average.

“But overall we still don’t have the infection rate down as far as we need to,” he told the daily Downing Street news conference.

Of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for Covid-19, 13,729 have died  – 861 of those were in the last 24 hours. 

The number of positive cases also passed the 100,000 mark this evening, with 4,618 new cases confirmed. The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 103, 093. 

Tweet by @Department of Health and Social Care Source: Department of Health and Social Care/Twitter

Raab said the public needed to show “patience” and stick with the restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel but we are now at both a delicate and a dangerous stage in this pandemic,” he said.

“If we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made.

“That would risk a quick return to another lockdown with all the threat to life that a second peak to the virus would bring and all the economic damage that a second lockdown would carry.”

“Based on this advice, which we have very carefully considered, the government has decided that the current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.”

- With reporting from PA

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