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Warning over coronavirus 'bumpy ride' in winter as infection rate shoots up

Warning over coronavirus 'bumpy ride' in winter as infection rate shoots up

On Sunday Hancock said he was "concerned" as the government announced 2,988 coronavirus cases, which is the highest figure since 23 May, when 2,959 cases were recorded.

In the wake of figures Monday showing that the United Kingdom recorded almost 3,000 new coronavirus cases for the second day running, government ministers and scientists voiced concerns that the easing of the lockdown during the summer has prompted many people, particularly young adults, to let their guard down in a country that has seen Europe's deadliest virus outbreak.

While fatalities increased by three to 41,554, Van-Tam urged caution: "It's all very well saying that hospital admissions and deaths are at a very low level in the UK". He did say, however, that the new numbers were very concerning.

A government source said the figure would be reduced from 30 - but the new number is still being ironed out.

"For ministers and universities to rely on the behaviour of students, rather than deploying the public health infrastructure needed to control the virus, is a complete shirking of their own responsibility", Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union, said in a statement.

John Edmunds, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said cases are rising, though "not spectacularly", but he's anxious about what will happen following the reopening of schools and universities.

"It's the same virus that came and caused so much trouble earlier this year".

"Our case numbers didn't go down, down and down and remain so low that we couldn't start opening up".

The UK's weekly rate of new cases has risen above 20 per 100,000 people - the rate at which it considers imposing quarantine measures on people arriving from overseas.

"Going forward to the autumn months I expect case numbers to go up especially with all the businesses opening up, schools opening up".

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In its latest bulletin on Monday, the health ministry reported 2,948 new cases - the second daily high since May - bringing the total number to 350,100.

"That's my concern, that if we don't get on top of this, if people don't start to take this seriously again, then there is a risk that that's where we end up".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said young people had become too relaxed about social distancing and could endanger older relatives through complacency. "Now is the time for us to re-engage and realise that this is a continuing threat to us".

In Wales, the county borough of Caerphilly is to be placed under a local lockdown from later on Tuesday.

The professor added that it was "clear" that the level of compliance with restrictions "is very variable indeed".

Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, posted on Twitter on Tuesday: "Jonathan Van Tam lays the situation out clearly". The government has not changed its advice on returning to work.

"It doesn't mean that they can't go and meet them, it doesn't mean that we're in the kind of restrictions that we were earlier this year".

Meanwhile, Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said COVID-19 cases are "increasing exponentially" ahead of what could be a "difficult" Christmas period. "And you can pass it on before you've had any symptoms at all", he told a BBC radio program aimed at younger audiences.

"That is what we are really keeping a close eye on - the extent to which it moves away from these local outbreaks to broader community transmission". "And we are already above one and we've opened schools", he said.

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