UK coronavirus daily cases pass 50,000 for first time since January

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Britain has recorded more than 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases, the highest number since mid-January, according to official data released Friday.

A sign reminding people to wear face masks is seen outside the London Eye in London, Britain, on July 16, 2021. Britain has recorded more than 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases, the highest number since mid-January, according to official data released Friday. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

The country reported another 51,870 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 5,332,371, official figures showed.

The country also recorded another 49 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 128,642. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

The British government has confirmed that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end on Monday as part of the final step or Step Four of England's roadmap out of the lockdown. But scientists have warned that lifting all restrictions at this stage could increase likelihood of dangerous variants.

England's coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, stood between 1.2 and 1.4, meaning, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people, according to the latest estimate by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a British government advisory body.

Meanwhile, the growth rate range of coronavirus is 4 percent to 7 percent, which means that the number of new infections is growing by between 4 percent and 7 percent every day.

As for vaccination, Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI have published their latest antibody surveillance report, which showed that almost 100 percent of people tested positive for antibodies 14 days after their second dose of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine.

Over 207,337 participants tested themselves at home using a finger prick test between May 12 and 25, tracking COVID-19 antibodies across England following either natural infection or vaccination.

Following one dose of either vaccine, the proportion of people testing positive for antibodies peaked at four to five weeks after first dose and then started to decline before rising substantially in those who had a second dose, according to the report.

The findings emphasize the need for everyone to get both doses of the vaccine to receive the best chance of protection against this disease as restrictions are lifted, the report also said.

"Results of this very large study show the substantial impact of the vaccination program on antibody positivity in adults. However, coverage of vaccines is uneven with people in some groups and areas less likely to have been vaccinated.," said Helen Ward, Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London.

"It is concerning that people on low incomes, in deprived areas, some minority ethnic groups and in some public facing occupations such as hospitality, may remain relatively unprotected from future spread. We need to continue and intensify efforts to reach these groups with vaccination, and to ensure other protective measures are in place," said Professor Ward.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. 

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