UK records nearly 4,000 new coronavirus cases as second lockdown fears mount

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The UK has recorded a further 3,899 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, along with 18 deaths.

This is compared to 3,330 cases last Sunday – but the number is down from yesterday's report of 4,422 cases.

The latest statistics also revealed a further 18 people have been recorded as killed by the deadly Covid-19 virus on Sunday.

This brings the overall UK total of deaths linked to the pandemic to 41,777 cases.

NHS England confirmed the 18 deaths had occurred in patients aged between 62 and 98 – and that each of the victims known, pre-existing health conditions.

The latest statistics come amid concerns a second wave of the virus is under way – with the threat of a national lockdown hanging in the air.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out a second national lockdown and warned hospital admissions for the disease are doubling "every eight days."

It is feared the increase in admissions will inevitably lead to increased deaths relating to the virus.

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Indeed, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London – who was sacked from SAGE earlier this year for flouting lockdown rules he devised himself – has warned an increase in deaths could occur.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: “Right now we're at about the levels of infections that we were seeing in late February, if we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid March.

“That's going to clearly cause deaths… I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later, the timing of any more intensive policy, temporary policy, is open to question.”

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The Government does sound at least slightly hopeful extreme measures can be averted – as long as the public observe the Rule of Six and local lockdown restrictions.

Speaking on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Mr Hancock said: "This country faces a tipping point.

"If everybody follows the rules – and we will be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns."

While tough new fines of up to £10,000 are being introduced to clamp down on those who do breach the rules.

Mr Hancock highlighted this during an appearance on Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: "We will support people who do the right thing and we will come down hard on people who do the wrong thing."

It is believed 13.5 million Brits will find themselves dealing with varying rules relating to the health crisis on Tuesday as areas, including the North East of England, are under local lockdown.

  • Coronavirus

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