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The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 74% since this time last week with another 7,540 infections recorded.
Today's increase was the highest daily jump since the end of February, when 8,523 cases were reported on February 26.
Another six deaths were recorded today, the latest government data shows, a decrease from last Wednesday June 2 when 12 more deaths were reported nationwide.
The UK's daily case numbers then rose by 4,330 – rising by more than one-third compared to the same day the previous week, when 3,180 cases were reported.
Today's figures come as Boris Johnson said it was too early to say if England's lockdown can end on June 21 as data on whether the vaccine rollout offers enough protection from the rapid spread of the Delta coronavirus variant is still being assessed.
The PM warned the vaccine rollout may not be enough to go ahead with unlocking on June 21.
And Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling was instrumental to the UK locking down in March 2020, said that new modelling data submitted to the Government suggests a risk of "a substantial third wave" of coronavirus infections in the UK.
A Covid patient being treated in hospital (File photo)
(Image: Joel Goodman)
"On Monday… we'll have a look at where we are. I think what everybody can see very clearly is that cases are going up, and in some cases hospitalisations are going up," the PM said on Wednesday.
"What we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout, which has been phenomenal, has built up protection in the population in order for us to go ahead to the next stage. And so that's what we'll be looking at."
Today it was announced there were more than one million bookings for a Covid-19 vaccine through the NHS website yesterday, a record high figure and the first time daily appointments booked through the national booking service have topped the million mark.
As eligibility extended to people aged 25 to 29 yesterday morning, a total of 1,082,596 first and second dose slots were snapped up across the day online and by phone, around 45,000 an hour on average and more than 750 every minute, over the full 24 hours.
Boris Johnson said it was too early to say if England's lockdown can end on June 21
Scotland has today recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases in almost four months, the latest data shows.
A total of 1,011 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the last 24 hours, the highest daily number since February 17 and 316 more than the previous day.
But the test positivity rate – the percentage of tests returning a positive result – was 3%, down from 5% on Tuesday.
Scenes inside an intensive care unit (file photo)
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Sunday Mirror)
Hospital figures have also remained the same, with 121 patients on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, no change on the previous day, though the number in intensive care increased by two to 14.
One Covid-19 death was recorded in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities under that measure to 7,678.
In Wales 223 new cases were reported, giving a total of 213,411. No new deaths were reported today, giving a total of 5,570.
There have been no further Covid-19 deaths recorded by Stormont's Department of Health in the last 24-hour reporting period.
Clinical staff wearing PPE (file photo)
(Image: Getty Images)
There were another 105 confirmed cases of the virus recorded.
Government data up to June 8 shows that of the 69,251,163 jabs given in the UK so far, 40,710,319 were first doses – a rise of 136,802 on the previous day. Some 28,540,844 were second doses, an increase of 313,482.
On Wednesday morning there were 18 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, none of whom were in intensive care.
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Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, Prof Ferguson said data, which was compiled by SPI-M – a subgroup of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) – suggests the third wave may not be as severe as the second wave in January, depending on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.
He said: "Basically it (the modelling) is saying there is a risk of a substantial third wave, (but) we cannot be definitive about the scale of that – it could be substantially lower than the second wave or it could be of the same order of magnitude.
"That, critically, depends on how effective the vaccines still are protecting people against hospitalisation and death against the Delta (Indian) variant, as well as a few other unknowns."
Covid-19 patients in hospitals
(Image: Press Association Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to make a decision shortly on whether England can go ahead with full reopening on June 21.
Asked if delaying the road map date would make a difference, Prof Ferguson said: "Yes, because it allows more people to get second doses."
He said efficacy for the second dose against the variant first identified in India was higher than after one dose.
A delay would also protect people and "have an effect on transmission, of getting more weeks of getting people vaccinated", he said.