One In 50 People Are Currently Believed To Have Covid-19 In The UK
Over one million people in the UK are currently infected with Covid-19 with record-high 60,916 cases in 24 hours, latest figures show.
According to the data from the Office for National Statistics, around one in 50 people were estimated to have coronavirus at the start of this week, up from just one in 900 in September.
Introducing the data at a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said there would be “long weeks ahead” as the country enters its third lockdown since the pandemic began.
London has the highest rate of Covid-19, with one in 30 people believed to be infected, and especially high rates of the new variant.
Johnson also revealed that 1.3 million people across the UK had already been vaccinated against the virus, 1.1 million of which were in England.
The figure also included 650,000 of the over 80s, meaning 23% of that age bracket had already been vaccinated.
The revelation comes a day after the Prime Minister promised that everyone in the top four priority groups — care home residents and staff; NHS workers and care staff; over 70s; and the clinically vulnerable — would be offered the vaccine by 15 February.
Over 1,000 sites such as hospitals and GP surgeries would be providing the vaccine by the end of the week, he continued, with plans for seven large vaccine centres at sports stadiums and exhibition centres to be opened soon.
From Monday, there will also be daily updates on vaccination numbers as the government tries to get ahead of the new, more infectious coronavirus strain.
Elsewhere in the press conference, chief medical officer Chris Whitty shared the extent to which the variant had spread across the country.
“It is really clear that this new variant has been rising in all parts of the country,” he said,
“And what we've seen is that the bits of the country which have got some of the lower rates and had previously controlled things — particularly in the northeast and Northwestern, for example — the rate of increase has, in many of these, been higher than in some of the southern areas which have got very high rates already.”