(CMR) Hospitals in Britain are said to be close to buckling under the strain of new admissions as the UK sees a surge in COVID-19 cases. The United Kingdom recorded 49,156 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the largest number since mid-July. This increase comes as the UK monitors a new subtype of the Delta variant.
The rise in cases comes almost three months after the UK lift all COVID-19 restrictions. The government is now appealing to the citizens to get the booster jabs in order to reduce the numbers, but it has resisted calls to reimpose restrictions such as mandatory mask-wearing.
New infections averaged 43,000 a day over the past week, a 15 percent increase compared with the week before.
More than 80% of people aged 12 and above have received two vaccine doses and millions are being offered a booster shot, including everyone aged over 50. However, the UK recorded almost 50,000 new infections in a single day this week.
Neil Ferguson, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said one factor influencing the UK’s high case numbers was that it has relied heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, “and, while that protects very well against very severe outcomes of COVID, it protects slightly less well than Pfizer against infection and transmission, particularly in the face of the Delta variant”.
Last month, the prime minister said the country might need to reintroduce measures, such as mandatory masks and bringing in vaccine passes, if cases rose so high in the autumn and winter that the health system came under intense strain.