UK records highest daily infections in more than three months

Latest government figures show the biggest daily rise since February 26

A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination centre for those aged over 18 years old at the Belmont Health Centre in Harrow, London. Reuters
A person receives a dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine at a vaccination centre for those aged over 18 years old at the Belmont Health Centre in Harrow, London. Reuters

The UK has recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases in more than three months, suggesting the Delta variant, first identified in India, is spreading across the country.

Government figures on Wednesday showed the UK recorded 7,540 new infections, its biggest daily increase since February 26.

Cases have been rising over the past few weeks as a result of the Delta strain, bringing fears of renewed pressure on the health system.

Another 123 people were admitted to hospitals with symptoms related to coronavirus, taking the total to 1,024.

The number dying after testing positive in the previous 28 days rose by six to 127,860 confirmed deaths.

Health experts hope the rapid distribution of vaccines will break the link between new cases and deaths.

So far, a large number of the people infected are within the less vulnerable younger age groups, many of whom have yet to receive a first dose.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was too early to decide whether England's lockdown could end on June 21.

Mr Johnson said data on whether the vaccine programme gave enough protection from the rapid spread of the Delta strain was still being assessed.

"On Monday ... we'll have a look at where we are," he said on Wednesday.

"I think what everybody can see very clearly is that cases are going up, and in some cases hospitalisations are going up.

"What we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine roll-out, which has been phenomenal, has built up protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage."

Updated: June 9, 2021 11:20 PM

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