COVID-19: UK records another 7,742 coronavirus cases and three deaths ahead of England roadmap announcement | UK News

COVID-19: UK records another 7,742 coronavirus cases and three deaths ahead of England roadmap announcement | UK News

The UK has recorded another 7,742 COVID cases and three deaths, ahead of the expected delay to lifting lockdown restrictions in England.

The number of coronavirus cases is up on the 7,490 recorded yesterday – the sixth day in row that new infection numbers have exceeded 7,000.

However the number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test is down on the eight reported on Sunday.

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‘Possible’ India border caused easing delay

Last Monday, the UK recorded 5,683 coronavirus cases and one additional death.

On COVID vaccinations, a further 147,228 first doses were administered on Sunday, along with 181,121 second jabs.

The total number of people who have had at least one vaccine dose now stands at 41,698,429 – 79.2% of adults, while 29,973,779 people have had two jabs, which is 56.9% of UK adults.

The latest COVID figures come as Boris Johnson is set to announce a delay of four weeks in lifting lockdown restrictions in England.

A government source told Sky News the prime minister will dash hopes that Freedom Day will come in one week’s time, on 21 June, and it will instead be postponed until 19 July.

“It is one last heave,” a senior source was quoted as saying after the PM met senior cabinet ministers and his scientific advisers. “It is a straight race between the vaccine and the virus.”

Fears have been voiced about the “devastating” impact the postponement will have on businesses.

Mr Johnson is expected to promise a review of the continuing restrictions after the first two weeks.

Mark Harper, chairman of the COVID Recovery Group of Tory MPs, said he feared lockdown could be extended until at least the end of September if ministers attempt to wait until the whole population has been double-jabbed.

“We have a rapid rollout of effective vaccines and are heading into summer,” he tweeted. “If, even at this point, the government won’t release restrictions, this points to restrictions in the autumn and winter, when respiratory diseases increase and the NHS is always under more pressure.

“This would be devastating for business confidence, people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.”

New data reported on Monday suggests the risk of being hospitalised with the Delta (Indian) variant of coronavirus is around double that of the Alpha (Kent) strain, but two vaccine doses still provide strong protection against it.

However, the level of protection against the Indian variant of COVID-19 may be lower than with the Kent variant, early research published in The Lancet suggested.

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