UK Covid cases nearly double in a week as Indian variant continues to surge

Shoppers on Oxford Street in central London (Image: PA)

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The number of Covid-19 cases in the UK have almost doubled in a week as the Indian variant continues to surge.

Another 6,048 infections and 13 further deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported on Tuesday, according to official data.

Today's cases are 2,883 more than last Tuesday when 3,165 infections were reported along with zero deaths.

The number of people who have received the first dose of a vaccine today rose to 40,573,517, the figures showed.

The latest figures came as the NHS in England reported a "Glastonbury-style" rush on its website this morning as over-25s were invited to book their coronavirus jab for the first time.

People queueing for Covid jabs on a bus in Bolton
(Image: MEN MEDIA)

It said almost half a million jabs were booked on Tuesday morning at a rate of around 1,600 per minute or 100,000 an hour.

A number of people reported issues with the booking website as appointments were opened to the latest cohort.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "This encouraging Glastonbury-style rush for appointments has already now seen hundreds of thousands of people between 25 and 29 book in for their NHS Covid jabs, as more vaccine supplies continue to come on line.

A patient receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

"Pleasingly this suggests strong enthusiasm for vaccination amongst people in their 20s, following hard on the heels of the millions of others who've already taken up our offer."

NHS England's primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani said: "It's great that young people are so keen to get vaccinated as this remains our best defence against Covid, and so we would urge anyone receiving an invitation today, or this week, to book in and get protected."

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So far the NHS in England has delivered more than 57.8 million vaccine doses to over 75 per cent of adults.

More than half of adults are now fully vaccinated giving them maximum possible protection from coronavirus.

A woman wearing a face covering shows a security guard the QR code on her Covid-19 test appointment confirmation
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Around 3 million text messages are being sent out over this week to those eligible asking people to book in through the national booking service, with GPs also set to urge the newly eligible to come forward over the coming days.

Text invitations, which do not expire, appear as an alert from ‘NHSvaccine’ and include a web link to the NHS website to reserve an appointment.

When invited, people will be able to book at one of the 1,600 Vaccination Centre, pharmacy or general practice sites across the country that are available through the national booking service.

Vaccination centres are also available in convenient locations such as mosques, museums and rugby grounds.

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