The UK reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a single day on Wednesday since the pandemic began, when the country imposed new restrictions to stem the spread of the virus.
Statistics released by the British government showed that almost 40,000 cases were reported on Wednesday, and 744 new deaths were reported in 28 days after a positive test, the highest number of fatalities since the end of April.
There have been more than 236,000 positive cases in the past seven days, an increase of more than 61% over the previous seven-day period.
The worrying numbers come at a time when the UK is working to protect its residents from a new strain of COVID-19 that is spreading rapidly and which, according to experts, is more infectious than the virus that has been killing people since the beginning of pandemic.
To combat the spread of the virus, the government announced on Wednesday that more areas of England would fall under Tier 4 restrictions, the most severe in the kingdom.
The restrictions mean that residents in these areas will have to stay at home, except to travel for essential jobs and non-essential stores, indoor gyms and leisure facilities must close.
“After all the efforts that we have made to control this virus, and in many parts of the country, it is under control. Just as we have a tier system that was able to control this virus, we discovered a new, more contagious virus, a variant that is spreading at a dangerous rate. And I know that the vast majority of people watching today and across the country understand what we need to do together to overcome this, ”said Secretary of State for Health and Welfare, Matt Hancock, at a press conference.
The UK has had about 2.2 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and more than 69,000 people have died.