- The Health Department said there were 36,100 new infections in the last 24 hours, up 17% from last Monday’s figure.
- There has been a decline in the number of Kovid infections in every age group in England in the past week except for children aged five to 14
- Experts had warned for weeks that the return of schools on September 1 could lead to a new surge in infections.
UK daily Covid cases rose significantly today for the first time in almost a fortnight at the first sign of being delayed back to school.
The health department’s daily update shows that there were 36,100 new infections in the last 24 hours, up 17 percent from last Monday’s figure.
There were signs that the pandemic had begun to change over the weekend as cases rose by nearly 2 percent after a week of steady declines.
Figures from the government’s COVID dashboard for England show that there has been a decline in the number of cases in every age group except children aged five to 14 over the past week.
Experts had warned for weeks that the return of schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the beginning of the month could trigger a new wave of infections.
Scotland saw a meteoric rise in cases almost immediately when education resumed in mid-August, but the increase was avoided in the rest of the country.
The government’s scientific advisory group has also warned that abruptly stopping work from home could lead to a new surge in cases this autumn.
Meanwhile, Britain’s daily Covid death toll fell by a fifth in a week, with 49 more victims. Deaths lag behind cases by weeks because of the time it takes for people to become seriously ill.
No new COVID hospitalization data for the UK was released today, but the latest NHS England numbers show the figure was down 14 per cent on 14 September.
England: Cases continue to rise after plateauing in late summer
Scotland: Scotland saw a rapid rise in cases when education resumed in mid-August, but the wave appears to have peaked
Northern Ireland (left) and Wales (right): Cases are trending downward in Northern Ireland while they are creeping up in Wales
Meanwhile, Pfizer announced today that it plans to approve its COVID vaccine for children under the age of five – as Britain injects healthy 12 to 15-year-olds with the jab for the first time. Started putting
The pharmaceutical giant said a trial of nearly 2,000 children aged five to 11 years found that low doses of the vaccine produced a strong immune response and posed no safety concerns.
US officials are set to review the data in the coming weeks and decide whether to roll out the vaccine to pre-teens in October, with Pfizer also planning to seek authorization in Europe and the UK.
End of work from home ‘fuelled England’s third Covid wave’
Official data shows white-collar activists started England’s third Covid wave.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that office workers, bankers, teachers and other occupations had the highest case rates this summer.
Its report also found that for the first time in the pandemic, white people had higher infection rates per population size than ethnic minorities.
Figures show that the campaign to get people back to work after the winter lockdown fueled the spread of the ultra-transmissible Delta variant, which was first introduced in the country in late April.
Between May 23 and July 25, there were 235 confirmed cases among white people per 100,000 person-weeks. For comparison, this figure was as low as 98 per 100,000 in other ethnic minority communities.
During the second wave that began last September, cases were highest among Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and black adults.
Experts speculated that this could be due to the fact that ethnic minorities were more likely to be in blue-collar jobs and were unable to work from home, increasing the risk of catching COVID.
But in the third wave, there were 229 cases per 100,000 person-weeks for lower administrative and business positions such as managers. Infection rates were lower in regular occupations such as cleaners, labourers, bus and lorry drivers – a reversal of the trend seen in January.
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that the lower rates among minorities in the third wave may be the result of higher natural immunity from previous waves.
Pfizer’s trial looked at antibody levels in the blood of primary school-aged children to gauge their immune response, in contrast to larger trials of older participants, which compared COVID cases to vaccine…