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In the UK coronavirus cases have been climbing once again, prompting additional lockdown restrictions in many regions. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently announced a number of stricter lockdown measures, mainly affecting hospitality businesses. Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently introduced new measures for England, including a curfew on hospitality businesses for 10pm.
In his conference speech to health leaders on Thursday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK is at a “perilous moment” in the course of the pandemic.
As of 9am on Thursday, October 8, there had been a further 17,540 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
A further 77 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus as of Thursday.
New figures show that there were 3,044 coronavirus patients in hospital in England as of Thursday, up from 1,995 a week ago, and 368 COVID hospital patients were in ventilation beds, up from 285 a week ago.
He said: “I am very worried about the growth in the number of cases, especially in the North West and the North East of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and parts of Yorkshire.
“In parts of the country, the situation is again becoming very serious.
“Hospitalisations in the North West are doubling approximately every fortnight. They have risen by 57 percent in just the last week alone.
“Unfortunately we’re seeing hospitalisations in the over-60s rising sharply and the number of deaths from coronavirus also rising.”
What age group is contracting COVID-19?
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its most recent coronavirus infection survey for England, Wales and Northern Ireland on October 2, 2020.
And according to the report, rates of coronavirus infection are highest among teenagers and young adults.
The survey explains: “Current rates are highest among teenagers and young adults, and rates in these groups continue to rise.
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“Smaller increases are also seen in those aged 35 years and above, although rates remain relatively low in these groups.”
The ONS report stated there is “some limited evidence” rates have levelled off for certain age groups recently.
The report added: “There is some limited evidence that rates may have levelled off in recent weeks in those of primary school age or below (age two years to school year 6), as well as those aged 25 to 34 years.
“This is based on statistical modelling of nose and throat swab test results.”
However, the ONS report also stated the number of people sampled for the survey is “lower relative to England overall”.
The report continued: “In the data used to produce these estimates, the number of people sampled in the different age groups who tested positive for COVID-19 is lower relative to England overall.
“This means there is a higher degree of uncertainty in estimates for individual age groups over this period, as indicated by larger credible intervals.”
In recent days there have been cases of COVID-19 outbreaks in universities, as many students have recently started the new term.
Newcastle University said this week 1,003 of its 28,000 students had tested positive for coronavirus between October 1 and October 7.
Northumbria University confirmed 770 students tested positive in an announcement last Friday.
A number of COVID-19 cases have also been recorded by Durham University.
More than 60 universities have confirmed cases of COVID-19 as thousands of students return to campus, according to a survey from the PA media news agency.
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