According to the latest data from the ZOE study, 76,728 new symptomatic cases have been reported on average across the UK. This is an increase of 18 percent from the 65,059 new daily cases last week. Due to this increase in case levels, professor Tim Spector, lead scientist from the study spoke of his concern over the risk of transmission over Christmas.
Indeed, he called on adults to take up a booster jab in order to reduce the spread of infection over the critical Christmas period.
He said: “Seeing cases on the rise again is really disheartening and the recent ups and downs, unlike previous waves, is making it hard to predict where things will be from week-to-week.
“However, for me, the message is that cases are still far too high.
“Although we appear, for now, to be faring better than some European countries in terms of case numbers, the UK continues to have relatively high hospital admissions and deaths, which is a real cause for concern.
“Given the current overloading of our hospitals, now isn’t the time to portray the UK as a Covid success story, far from it.
“While the rise in new cases is being driven by children, focusing on them in the short-term would be a mistake.
“While the Government is unlikely to enforce restrictions for Christmas, family gatherings will undoubtedly increase risk, especially for older and more vulnerable family members who haven’t yet had their third vaccine dose. Saving Christmas is up to us.
“Those of us eligible for the third jab should take it now, and we should be mindful that one in four people with cold-like symptoms have COVID-19.
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Over 30,000 cases in the age group were recorded in the study’s latest data.
At the end of October, there had been 20,000 cases reported within the age group after falling from 43,000 earlier in the month.
In the 35-55-year-old age group, cases have also risen to 23,000 in the study’s latest data.
Both age groups are the only two which have reported a sharp rise in cases.
Commenting on the current situation, Boris Johnson claimed the UK must remain vigilant as case levels rise in Europe.
He said: “A new wave of Covid has steadily swept through central Europe and is now affecting our nearest neighbours in Western Europe.
“Our friends on the continent have been forced to respond with various degrees of new restrictions, from full lockdowns, to lockdowns for the unvaccinated, to restrictions on business opening hours and restrictions on social gatherings.
“We don’t yet know the extent to which this new wave will wash up on our shores, but history shows we cannot afford to be complacent.
“Indeed in recent days cases there have been rising here in the UK, so we must remain vigilant.”
The study’s data was conducted from 40,707 swabs done over two weeks up to November 20.