UK records new record number of daily cases at 55,982 with 964 deaths

The UK recorded 55,892 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday and 964 deaths within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, official data showed.

Data as of Wednesday had shown 50,023 new coronavirus infections and 981 deaths.

People are being warned not to add ‘fuel to the fire’ when mixing in groups, as nearly half of all major hospital trusts in England are treating more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the virus’s first wave .

Figures released on New Year’s Eve – as health workers and government urge people to ring the bell in 2021 in their own households – also show just under a third of acute trusts have more Covid patients- 19 than at any other time since the start of the pandemic.

Infection rates are rising in all parts of the country, according to the latest data from Public Health England, and the 55,892 daily laboratory-confirmed cases in the UK on Thursday represent the latest record since mass testing began in late May.

Professor Hugh Montgomery warned that people who do not wear a mask and continue to mix unnecessarily have “blood on their hands.”

The intensive care doctor at Whittington Hospital in north London said anyone who thought it was okay to ‘spend another night’ was spreading the virus.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: “Anyone listening to this that doesn’t wear their mask and behave like that – they have blood on their hands, they are spreading this virus. Other people will spread it and people will die.

“They won’t know they killed people, but they did.

Delay of the second jab

His comments came as the chief medical officers of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland urged other members of the medical profession to support the decision to delay the administration of the seconds doses of vaccine so that more people can benefit from the immunity provided by the first vaccine.

Their joint statement said it was the right decision for public health to tackle “this pandemic plaguing our communities”, with the first dose providing “substantial protection” within two to three weeks.

The statement came after the Association of Hospital Consultants and Specialists and the British Medical Association’s general practitioner leaders said the delay would cause problems for partially vaccinated elderly and vulnerable people as well as hospital staff.

Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said: ‘We know that the overwhelming majority of deaths reported today are people who have sadly died in recent days.

Urging people to follow the rules in an attempt to stop the spread, she said: “Christmas week saw a worrying increase in cases in all parts of the country, especially among adults in their 20s and 30s.

“We must not add more fuel to the fire now, because a meeting in large and large groups this New Years Eve is likely to spread more.

Professor Montgomery said the consequences of “bad behavior” on Christmas will not be visible in intensive care units until next week, and the results of any similar action by people on New Years Eve will be seen. smell in hospitals about 10 days later.

Figures released on the government coronavirus dashboard on Thursday showed that 64 of the 140 acute NHS trusts were seeing a higher number of Covid-19 patients at 8 a.m. on December 30 than at any time between mid – March and the end of May – covering the period of the first wave.

Data also shows that 42 of 140 acute trusts had more Covid-19 patients on December 30 than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

New restrictions which took effect at midnight mean a total of 44 million people, or 78% of England’s population, are now living under the toughest Level 4 measures.

Military man standing by

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has said the military stands ready to staff Nightingale hospitals if the NHS exceeds its capacity in intensive care beds.

An NHS spokesperson said Nightingale sites across England ‘stand ready to re-admit patients if needed’, and London hospitals are under significant pressure due to infection rates high.

He said: ‘In anticipation of the pressures arising from the spread of the new variant of the infection, NHS London has been asked to ensure that the London Nightingale is reactivated and ready to admit patients as needed, and this process is in progress.

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Wallace said: “We have, I think, 17,000 ventilator beds currently in use, with a capacity of 21,000 people.

“If things start to change there, then of course you’ll see those nightingales being more active and, yes, we have a number of medical staff.

He said the military currently has 5,000 people deployed as part of the Covid-19 response.

It is understood that a request for help in Essex – due to fears about intensive care and bed capacity, staff illness and the ability to quickly refer patients to safe environments – has been received by the UK Ministry of Defense, but that alternative options with local health partners are still being explored.

Union leaders warn of burnout, skyrocketing illness rates and “intolerable” pressures due to the current crisis.

NHS Providers Deputy Managing Director Saffron Cordery said the pressure on hospitals was “escalating” and warned: “We are in a very difficult New Year.”

Deployment of the new Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to begin on Monday.

Mr Wallace said up to 250 teams of combat medics could be made available to help ensure deployment across the country.

Infection rates in England remain highest among those aged 30 to 39, Public Health England said, with rates falling slightly among those aged 5 to 9, 10 to 19 and those aged 80 and over. more.

The lowest rates were among those aged four and under (150.6) and five to nine years (167.2).

The reopening of secondary schools in England was postponed until later in January, and in some of the areas hardest hit by Covid-19, primary school students will also not be returning as planned next week.

Universities are urged to reduce the number of students returning to campus from early next month, and those returning should be offered two rapid coronavirus tests.

A total of 944,539 people across the UK had received a dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of December 27, the Department of Health said. – Reuters / PA