'Worrying' surge in coronavirus cases among people in their 50s

Senior government officials have called infection rates ‘worrying’ after figures revealed coronavirus cases among 50 to 59-year-olds have surged by 92%.

According to the new data, seen by the Telegraph, cases of Covid-19 have also surged by 72% among people in their 60s and by 44% in those aged 80 or above. In the past seven days, there were 1,635 new infections recorded among people aged over 50, compared to 915 in the week before.

Medical director of Public Health England (PHE), Yvonne Doyle, said of the rise in cases: ‘Although younger people continue to make up the greatest share of new cases, we’re now starting to see worrying signs of infections occurring in the elderly, who are at far higher risk of getting seriously ill.

‘This is a reminder of the ongoing risk as the virus spreads throughout the UK. People should continue to follow social distancing rules, wash their hands regularly and wear a face covering in enclosed spaces. You should not mix with others when unwell.’

Covid-19 cases are also continuing to rise among those under the age of 25, but the age group are generally less likely to develop severe health complications from the virus. The rise of the virus in older age categories has now resulted in a 20% increase in hospital admission for those above the age of 60.

A source within Public Health England told the Telegraph that this had not resulted in a surge of intensive care admissions, but added that the ‘great worry is that is what’s coming next.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday: ‘We’ve seen all across the world how a rise in cases, initially among younger people, leads to hospitalisations and fatalities.

‘The pandemic is not over, and everyone has a role to play to keep the virus at bay and avoid further restrictions.’

From Monday, the government’s ‘rule of six’ comes into place, limiting the size of legal gatherings to six people to ease the rise of infections in the country. It comes as 3,497 new infections were recorded in the UK on Saturday.

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