Covid cases up by 76% as numbers rise by more than 20,000 for second day in row

Coronavirus cases continue to surge across the UK (Image: PA)

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Coronavirus daily cases in Britain have risen by 76 per cent in a week as infections rose by more than 20,000 for a second day in a row.

The latest data – released this afternoon – shows 20,479 more infections have been reported in the past 24 hours.

And a further 23 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK's total death toll to 128,126.

Last Tuesday (June 22) saw a further 11,625 confirmed cases and 27 deaths.

Yesterday, 22,868 more infections and three Covid-related deaths were recorded.

Monday's figures amounted to a 69.9 per cent increase in a week, the highest number since January 30, when 23,275 were confirmed to have been infected.

Hospital admissions have also increased by 1,604 in the last week, up by 155 or 10.7 per cent on the previous seven days.

Do you think Freedom Day should be brought forward? Let us know in the comments

Ambulance staff bring a patient to Royal London hospital during the second Covid wave in February
(Image: ANDY RAIN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

As reported earlier today, it comes as more than 90 per cent of England's towns and cities have seen a weekly rise in Covid cases – with one hotspot now recording five times the number of cases.

Tamworth, in Staffordshire, has seen a massive jump in cases after 199 people tested positive in seven days – compared to just 37 the previous week.

It is among 291 of the country's 315 local authority areas which recorded more cases in the week to June 24 than the week before, with just 24 areas seeing a fall.

Meanwhile, new Health Secretary Sajid Javidsaid there is "no reason" to delay ditching the remaining Covid restrictions beyond July 19.

In his first Commons appearance since replacing shamed Matt Hancock, the former Home Secretary said he had opted against bringing 'Freedom Day' forward.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid giving a Covid-19 update in the House of Commons
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Javid said: "I spent my first day as Health Secretary just yesterday looking at the data and testing it to the limit.

"While we decided not to bring forward Step 4, we see no reason to go beyond July 19, because, in truth, no date we choose comes with zero risk for Covid.

"We know we cannot simply eliminate it, we have to learn to live with it."

Earlier this week, a new study suggested that mixing doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines generates a robust immune response against Covid-19.

The study found that using Pfizer followed by Oxford or vice versa induced high concentrations of antibodies against the spike protein of the virus when doses were given four weeks apart.

The findings could allow flexibility in the UK and global vaccine rollouts, allowing people to receive whatever jab is available, rather than waiting for a matching one.

As of June 27, a total of 44,454,511 first doses have been administered and 32,583,746 second jabs in the UK.

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