Coronavirus UK: two deaths in the preliminary daily report

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Britain today recorded less than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 for the first time in a week after an additional 713 Britons tested positive for the potentially fatal disease.

Figures from the Ministry of Health show that this is the lowest daily number of infections for nearly a fortnight, as 670 new cases of coronavirus were announced on August 4.

This means that 1,080 cases are diagnosed each day, on average. The figure has been rising steadily since mid-July amid mounting fears of a second wave.

But top experts have dismissed concerns that Britain is on the verge of being hit by another crisis, saying the spike is simply due to more targeted testing in hot spots such as the North West.

The UK also recorded just three more lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths today, meaning 10 infected Britons now succumb to the disease every day, on average.

By contrast, five deaths were reported yesterday across Britain and 18 last Monday. The official toll, which only takes into account victims who died within 28 days of a positive test, now stands at 41,369.

In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:

  • Boris Johnson has faced mounting pressure to announce a chaos of A-level U-turn results amid growing speculation that the Prime Minister will propose a change of approach this afternoon;
  • Public Health England chief executive denied being responsible for massive Covid-19 testing mess in Britain as ailing agency was to be shut down;
  • Britons are now more likely to die from certain major types of cancer than they were 15 years ago due to health care delays triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, shock research has suggested;
  • The British now face a desperate race to return home from Greece and Croatia as fears continue to grow that European nations could be added to the quarantine “red list” within days;
  • Italy is to close discos and clubs for three weeks and make it mandatory to wear a mask outside in certain areas at night after an increase in the number of new cases of Covid-19.

ARE GREECE AND CROATIA NEXT FOR THE QUARANTINE?

Britons on vacation in Greece and Croatia today have faced a desperate race to return home as fears grow that European nations could be added to the quarantine ‘red list’ within days, was revealed today.

Greece has seen a significant increase in the number of new cases – from 202 last week to 226 yesterday – while Croatia has now passed the UK quarantine threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period .

Fears that countries will be added to the quarantine list come as ministers desperately try to control the spread of the pandemic and a possible second wave.

It also comes amid growing anger at the chaotic way the government handled travel rules during the pandemic.

Ministers are urged to replace the disastrous 14-day quarantine system with a game-changing virus test at airports, before more countries are redlisted.

Other vacation destinations could also be added if – like Spain and France – they have a sudden second spike in infections that surprises travelers.

An estimated 500,000 raced back from France before the 4-hour quarantine deadline on Saturday, announced just 30 hours earlier.

The government’s most recent death toll – released this afternoon – stands at 41,369. It includes victims who died within 28 days of a positive test.

Last week, ministers rescinded the initial death tally over concerns it was inaccurate due to the lack of a deadline, meaning no one could technically recover in England.

More than 5,000 deaths have been removed from the initial toll. The moving average number of daily coronavirus deaths has dropped dramatically.

Before the initial count was canceled, around 59 deaths were reported each day. It is now just 13. But little has changed in the counts reported at the height of the crisis in April.

Death data does not represent the number of patients with Covid-19 who died in the past 24 hours – it is only the number of deaths reported and registered with authorities.

And the figure does not always match the updates provided by the countries of origin. Department of Health officials work at a different cut-off time, which means the daily updates for Scotland and Northern Ireland are not in sync.

The tally announced by NHS England each afternoon, which only takes into account deaths in hospitals, does not match the DH figures as they work with a different recording system.

For example, some deaths announced by the bosses of NHS England will have already been counted by the Department of Health, which records the deaths “as soon as they are available”.

Ministry of Health officials also report new cases of Covid-19 every afternoon. Yesterday they revealed that 1,040 Britons had tested positive for the potentially fatal disease.

That meant Britain had recorded more than 1,000 cases for six consecutive days for the first time since the outbreak started to slow at the end of June. But the 713 new cases today have ended the six-day period.

Fears that the virus would rebound have grown over the past month, prompting Boris Johnson to “step on the brake” last month and delay reopening parts of the economy for two weeks.

But top experts dismissed fears Britain would be hit by a second wave, saying the spike was simply due to more targeted testing in hotspots such as the North West.

Separate data – collected and released weekly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – also suggests that the actual number of people infected is not increasing.

The ONS estimates that 3,800 people catch the virus every day in the community of England, up slightly from the figure of 3,700 for the first week of August.

Last week, government science advisers revealed that the UK coronavirus R rate remained between 0.8 and 1 for the UK and England as a whole, meaning it had not changed the last week.

SAGE also argued that the outbreak is shrinking and cases are dropping one to four percent each day in its growth rate update, which it releases every Friday alongside the R-rate estimate.

The data comes as Britons on vacation in Greece and Croatia now face a desperate rush to return home as fears continue to grow that European nations may be added to the quarantine ‘red list’ in A few days.

Greece has seen a significant increase in the number of new cases – from 202 last week to 226 yesterday – while Croatia has now passed the UK quarantine threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period .

Fears that countries will be added to the quarantine list come as ministers desperately try to control the spread of the pandemic and a possible second wave.

It also comes amid growing anger at the chaotic way the government handled travel rules during the pandemic.

Ministers are urged to replace the disastrous 14-day quarantine system with a game-changing virus test at airports, before more countries are redlisted.

Other vacation destinations could also be added if – like Spain and France – they have a sudden second spike in infections that surprises travelers.

An estimated 500,000 raced back from France before the 4-hour quarantine deadline on Saturday, announced just 30 hours earlier.

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