UK Covid cases more than double in a month as deaths rise by 22% to 250

The UK has recorded another 94,524 Covid cases today, a drop of nearly 14% on this time last week, though virus-related deaths have surged by 25% to 250 – but an increase compared to last month, just two days before Covid measures were scrapped in England

A member of staff at University Hospital Monklands attends to a Covid-positive patient on the ICU ward

The UK recorded another 94,524 Covid cases today and 250 new deaths.

That’s a drop in infections of nearly 14% compared to last Tuesday when it hit 109,802, but a 25% rise in virus-related fatalities.

Despite the encouraging drop off in positive cases in just seven days, it’s still over double what it was this time last month – just two days before Covid measures were scrapped in England.

Boris Johnson lifted virus restrictions on Thursday, February 24, and on the previous Tuesday just 41,130 new infections were officially recorded.

In spite of an initial marginal dip the following week when the daily number dropped to 39,000, it quickly soared by 59% the following Tuesday to 61,900.

The figures then rocketed again a week later by 44%.

Downing Street was warned it was taking a major risk in introducing its Living with Covid plan last month.







Members of the public walk along Princess Street in Edinburgh
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It means those who test positive are no longer required to self-isolate, but are advised to stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five days.

Masks are also no longer legally required in public.

As of April 1, lateral flow tests will no longer be free, except for over-75s and over-12s with weakened immune systems.







A paramedic is seen by a line of ambulances outside the Royal London Hospital in east London
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This time last year on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 the UK recorded just 8,489 new cases.

However, England was just emerging from its latest lockdown – with the Prime Minister unveiling his roadmap for lockdown easing the day before on February 22.

At that time in 2021, schools in England had reopened, recreation in outdoor public spaces was allowed between two people – but the stay at home order remained in effect.







Staff at University Hospital Monklands attend to a Covid-positive patient on the ICU ward
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Following a Christmas 2020 easing of rules, despite the highly transmissible B117 variant – first identified in Kent – running rampant, the Government had been forced to throw the country back into full lockdown for months.

In terms of deaths, the UK recorded 200 last Tuesday and 212 the same day the previous week.

On Tuesday, March 1, the figure was 194 and 205 two days before the new plan was brought in.







A young man receives a Covid jab
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This time last year, on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, a total of 548 deaths were recorded – a difference of 54% on today’s toll.

And considering the UK had been in lockdown since the start of the previous month, it shows how far the country has come in breaking the link between infection and death.

This is in no small part thanks to the rollout of the vaccine program.







The latest Omicron strain is currently working its way through the UK
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TOLGA AKMEN / AFP via Getty Images)

As of the latest figures released on Monday, a total of 52,751,751 people have had their first jab in the UK.

Those having had both total 49,325,037 and boosters 38,665,626.

The UK is currently contending with yet another new variant the BA.2 strain of Omicron, which is said to be more transmissible than its predecessor.

Hybrid versions of the coronavirus that combine genes from the Delta and Omicron variants – dubbed “Deltacron” – have been identified in patients across Europe and the United States, researchers have said.

It has been officially confirmed as a new variant.

According to analysis of Deltacron’s genetic code, its “backbone” is derived from the Delta variant while its spike – the part of the virus that attaches itself to human cells – is from Omicron.

In fact, Professor Adrian Esterman, an epidemiologist and biostatistican, said the variant could be one of the most infectious diseases the world has ever seen.

He said it is up to six times more transmissible than the original strain of Covid – hence the up surge in new cases.

BA.2’s R number, the rate at which it can spread, was at 12 last week, compared to 2.5 for the original virus.

But it appears to be far less deadly than previous strains.

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