September 23, 2021, 19:59

    UK records 31,795 new Covid cases as infections fall for fourth day in a row

    UK records 31,795 new Covid cases as infections fall for fourth day in a row

    Britain recorded 31,795 Covid cases on Saturday – the fourth day in a row infections have fallen.

    Official Government data shows that, since Tuesday, cases have dropped on consecutive days.

    July 20 saw 46,558 infections, followed by 44,104 on July 21, 39,906 on July 22 and 36,398 on July 23.

    Public Health England (PHE) then revealed that today, July 24, has seen another decrease, of 4,603 cases.

    Death data is not yet available due to "technical difficulties", a statement said.

    But, despite the decreasing number of cases, hospitalisations in England are on the up.

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    Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK
    (Image: Press Association Images)

    The number of people in hospital with coronavirus in the country has risen to its highest level in four months.

    A total of 4,401 hospital beds were occupied by patients with confirmed Covid-19 on Friday – the highest level since March 22 and a week-on-week rise of 30.7 per cent from the 3,367 people in hospital on July 16.

    Despite this, numbers are still much lower than the peak of the second wave when patient levels in England reached 34,336 on January 18.

    46,519,998 people have now received the first dose of a vaccine, while 36,953,691 have received a 2nd dose, PHE said.

    Sign up for our daily coronavirus briefing newsletter to keep up to date with all the essential information and changes at www.mirror.co.uk/email.

    The North East and Yorkshire had the highest number of beds occupied with Covid patients on Friday, at 1,026 – up 40 per cent on the previous week and the highest since March 12 when there were 1,049.

    The latest figures come as the Government announced it had expanded its workplace testing programme to an initial 200 testing sites for frontline emergency services personnel amid criticism of its self-isolation policy.

    Some police, firefighters, Border Force staff and transport workers were already eligible for a self-isolation exemption, but only if their employers specified their names and they were double-jabbed against Covid-19.

    The Government on Saturday said in a statement that an expected initial extra 200 testing sites would be opened so that daily contact testing could be "rolled out to further critical workplaces in England".

    Staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service collect tests at a Covid Mobile Testing Unit in Glasgow
    (Image: PA)

    But they are not expected to open until Monday at the earliest.

    Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Daily testing will keep our frontline teams safe while they continue to serve the public and communities across our country."

    The expansion came after the Government on Thursday announced its programme would allow thousands of workers at up to 500 sites in the food sector to avoid the need to self-isolate if identified as a contact of a coronavirus case, and instead take daily Covid tests.

    Discontent with the Government's self-isolation policy was growing at the weekend as food industry bosses condemned changes to ease the "pingdemic" as "worse than useless", hospitality leaders warned of a summer of closures and train operators were forced to cut services.

    Pressure has mounted on Downing Street to bring forward the date at which people who are double vaccinated against coronavirus can avoid self-isolation.

    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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