UK records nearly 28,000 Covid cases in worst day for five months

The UK recorded its highest daily case number since January today (Image: Getty Images)

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Nearly 28,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK in just 24 hours – the highest daily figure since January.

This afternoon the Department of Health also confirmed 22 cases, bringing the official death toll since the start of the pandemic to 128,162.

A total of 27,989 new cases were confirmed in the department's latest update – the highest daily increase since January 29.

It brings the total testing positive in the past seven days to 146,360, a massive 71.8 per cent higher than the previous week.

On Wednesday there were 1,795 people in hospital with the virus across the country, with 287 on ventilation.

The number of people testing positive is at its highest level since late January
(Image: Getty Images)

Huge progress is being made on the country's vaccine programme, with more than 85 per cent of adults now having had at least one jab.

A total of 44.9 million people had received a first dose of a vaccine against coronavirus by June 30 and 33.0 million people had received a second dose.

Boris Johnson has urged parents, pupils and Tory MPs to be "patient" over calls to end isolation for entire school "bubbles" when lockdown restrictions in England are lifted later this month.

Former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is among 48 MPs to have signed a letter to the Prime Minister warning that the current policy is "disproportionate" and "unsustainable".

The call came after official data showed that 279,000 children in England are isolating because of possible contact with a Covid-19 case.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested that school bubbles will end when classes return after the summer holidays in September.

But the letter said it is essential that schools "go back to normal" when lockdown is lifted – set for July 19 – even if it is "just for the last few days of term".

"This will send an important signal ahead of the autumn that the route to freedom is a 'one-way road' and genuinely 'irreversible'," the letter said.

It said pupils have suffered "unnecessary and significant disruptions" to their schooling during the pandemic in order to keep the rest of the country safe.

"They have lost physical fitness, suffered mental health damage, and experienced catastrophic learning loss," it said.

"Children need normality, security and certainty. If we are to have a hope of levelling up and building back better, we must restore children's school lives to normal so they can recover their health, wellbeing, education and their futures."

The Prime Minister said he understands the "frustration" over whole bubbles being sent home to isolate but said the Public Health England review into favouring testing over isolation is still under way.

"They haven't concluded yet so what I want to do is just to be cautious as we go forward to that natural firebreak of the summer holidays when the risk in schools will greatly diminish and just ask people to be a little bit patient," he said during a visit to the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

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