UK records highest daily rise in new coronavirus cases since early May

2020-09-23 00:53:06Xinhua Editor : Zhao Yuning ECNS App Download

Another 4,926 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Britain, marking the highest daily increase since May 7, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Britain reached 403,551 while the coronavirus-related death toll rose by 37 to 41,825, the official data showed.

Earlier Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restriction measures to tackle a sharp rise in the country's coronavirus infections.

Johnson confirmed that from Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants in England must operate a table service only -- except for takeaways -- and will be forced to close at 10:00 p.m. BST (2100 GMT).

Among other measures, staff are advised to work from home if they can despite advice earlier this month to head back to the workplace, said Johnson.

Meanwhile in Scotland, people are banned from visiting other households indoors from Wednesday, in tougher new restrictions than those announced for England.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said data suggested the measure, which is already in place in Glasgow and some neighbouring areas, had helped reduce the spread of the virus and that extending it to the rest of Scotland would hopefully reduce transmission.

Sturgeon also confirmed that Scotland would be following England in imposing a 10:00 p.m. BST (2100 GMT) curfew on pubs and restaurants starting from Friday.

The British government is only responsible for lockdown restrictions in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies in relation to public health matters.

Britain's chief medical officers (CMOs) on Monday recommended moving the country's COVID-19 alert level from level Three to level Four, which means COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation and transmission is high or rising exponentially.

The British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance warned Monday that Britain could see 50,000 new cases of coronavirus per day by mid-October unless intervention is taken to slow the current infection rate.

Meanwhile, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

The British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said Monday that it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed. 


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