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Daily coronavirus cases in the UK have shot up the highest amount on a Saturday since February.
Today a further 7,738 positive tests were recorded in the country, the largest total on a Saturday since February 20.
Over the past week 47,868 fresh infections were reported, which is a weekly increase of 52.5%.
Twelve more people lost their lives to Covid-19 today, one fewer than this time a week ago.
The increase comes as the highly infectious Delta variant continues to spread across the UK, with the number of coronavirus cases in the UK having surged in recent weeks.
On Friday 8,125 new infections were reported across the country – the highest daily total since February 26.
After months of lockdown and hundreds of thousands of vaccinations each week, daily cases reached less than 1,700 a day at the beginning of April.
The vaccination programme continues to go full-steam ahead
(Image: Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
More heartening is the fact that daily deaths have not yet risen at the same pace as infections.
Over the past seven days 60 people died of Covid in the UK, a one per cent fall on the week before.
However, there is typically a two week lag between a spike in infections and deaths, meaning the latter may yet catch up with the latest outbreaks.
Coronavirus cases are rising sharply at the moment
The latest figures were reported by the government amid doubts that the June 21 lockdown lifting will be able to go ahead.
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Boris Johnson admitted the coronavirus data he was seeing were “worrying”.
The Prime Minister said evidence coming in was a “serious, serious concern” as he prepares to announce on Monday whether Freedom Day is being delayed.
The rise of the Delta variant is a "serious" concern, the PM has said
(Image: Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
He is said to be considering whether to order a two-week or four-week postponement to the relaxation of curbs that was pencilled in for June 21.
The rise is being fuelled by the Delta variant, which is now spread widely across the UK.
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Latest figures show it is about 60% more infectious than the Kent variant which drove the winter surge and second wave.
Johnson told Sky News: "It's clear that the Indian variant is more transmissible and it's also true that the cases are going up, and that the levels of hospitalisation are going up.
“We don't know exactly to what extent that is going to feed through into extra mortality, but clearly it's a matter of serious, serious concern."