THE number of coronavirus cases in the UK rose by 2,621 today, as nine more deaths were recorded.
It brings the total number of positive test results in Britain to 371,125, with an overall death toll of 41,637.
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Today's rise in cases is almost double the infection rate two of Mondays ago (August 31), when 1,406 cases were logged.
It is smaller, however, than last Monday's rise (2,948).
Today's rise in deaths is greater than it was last Monday, when three fatalities were reported – but the figure remains considerably lower than at the peak of the pandemic.
According to the latest data available, 79 Covid patients are currently on a ventilator in hospitals around the UK.
It comes as:
- Rule of six enforced today as coronavirus cases soar across the UK
- Ministers tells Brits to snitch on their neighbours if they break rule of six
- Wetherspoons reveals 50 pubs have been affected by covid-19 infections
- Catastrophic ‘rule of six’ should be BINNED, says Oxford scientist
The government’s ‘rule of six’ is enforced from today with Brits facing tough new restrictions in an effort to stop soaring coronavirus cases.
Under the former rules, no more than 30 people can meet inside with up to one other household, but this has been slashed to just six.
But the new rules also stipulate that the six people can be from different households, in an attempt to bring rules in line with outdoor gatherings.
It comes as September has seen rising rates of the virus, with Friday's new cases – 3,539 – the highest recorded on any day since May 17.
On Sunday five more people lost their lives in hospitals in England as the UK's grim tally rose to 41,628.
Public Health England data also showed that more than 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Birmingham in the seven days to September 10.
A total of 1,014 new cases were recorded – the equivalent of 88.8 cases per 100,000 people, up from 53.0 in the previous week.
Other cities recording sharp increases in their weekly rate include Sunderland (up from 34.2 to 94.3, with 262 new cases); Liverpool (up from 32.9 to 85.1, with 424 new cases); Manchester (up from 54.3 to 77.4, with 428 new cases); and Leeds (up from 48.4 to 69.8, with 554 new cases).
In total, 210 of the 315 local authority areas in England recorded an increase in the weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases in the seven days to September 10.
'ISN'T A GAME'
Immunologist Peter Openshaw said Covid-19 "isn't a game" after crowds hit the town over the weekend.
He urged caution amid reports Covid wards have been told they may need to reopen in just three weeks.
The academic, who works at Imperial College London, said: "It's a bit like water seeping through a dam.
"It starts as a trickle, and then if you don't do something about it, it turns into a real cascade."
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to issue 4.5million people with letters ordering them to shield once again.
Vulnerable Brits could be told to isolate amid fears coronavirus is spreading through care homes.
Those at risk of the deadly bug will be sent letters with advice telling them to stay inside if cases reach dangerous levels.
It was also revealed this week that the crucial R rate has soared to 1.7, while there are fears millions of people living in Newcastle, Leeds and Merseyside will be the next affected by stricter lockdowns.
Meanwhile, coronavirus infections have surged among middle-aged Brits as vases in over-50s rocketed by 92 per cent last week.
Senior government officials have said the rise in cases in higher risk groups is "worrying" as Downing Street looks to stem the spread of the bug heading into the winter.
Until Friday, coronavirus cases had predominantly been rising among under-25s – who are statistically at far less risk of severe health complications from contracting the virus.
But the new spike in infections in older-age groups has also resulted in an increase in hospital admissions, which were up 20 per cent last week compared with the week before among those aged 60 to 75.
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