Two more people have died from coronavirus in the UK, bringing the nation’s death toll to 41,551.
There were 2,988 confirmed new cases of the virus recorded, making today the highest daily increase in infections since May 19. There were 175,687 tests processed in the 24 hours previous, despite a capacity for 369,937 across all pillars.
A further 124 people were admitted to hospital with Covid-19, meaning there are now 756 patients currently receiving medical treatment for the virus. Of those, 69 require the use of a ventilator.
Earlier today NHS England reported a further three deaths inside hospitals, all of which happened within the last 10 days. No deaths were recorded in Scotland and Wales, while Northern Ireland is yet to update their total. The number of deaths reported on the weekend is typically smaller than other days due to a lag in official records.
The number of daily infections began topping 1,000 during August and has since been steadily increasing, with 1,940 cases on Friday, 1,735 on Thursday and 1,508 on Wednesday. Last Sunday the number of cases increased by 1,715.
One scientist has now warned that coronavirus is likely to remain a part of daily life until 2023, and may not disappear even if an effective vaccine is found.
Professor Hendrik Streeck, a prominent German virologist who led the pandemic response in Heinsberg, predicted the world would see regular outbreaks of Covid-19 for the next three years.
He said: ‘This virus is not disappearing. It has now become part of our daily lives. It will still be here in three years and we have to find a way to live with it.’
Prof Streeck noted that social distancing would still be the most effective way to contain coronavirus in the future, but predicted large outbreaks would be driven by ‘super-spreading’ social events such as house parties.
He went on: ‘We know that social distancing, not gathering in big groups and covering your face can have a profound impact on the infection.
‘These are simple measures that can help stop the spread if you have large levels of infection.’
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