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Britain’s coronavirus case level is at the highest level for three months, new figures revealed today show.
The numbers released by the Department of Health this afternoon indicate there had been a further 45,066 Covid-19 cases in the UK.
This is the highest level of infections since July 20 - the day after ‘Freedom Day’ when Covid lockdown restrictions were axed.
The numbers also showed that a further 157 people have died from the virus, bringing the UK total death toll to 138,237. This is a slight increase in deaths since last Thursday which were at 122.
The uptick in cases comes amid a warning from Professor Chris Whitty on Thursday that this winter would be “exceptionally difficult” for the NHS.
England’s chief medical officer told delegates at the annual conference of the Royal College of GPs in Liverpool that the health service faced the double threat of flu and Covid, alongside the usual winter problems such as trips and falls.
Meanwhile new cases of Covid-19 among schoolchildren in England are at their highest level since comparable figures began in autumn 2020, new figures show.
A total of 1,120.8 cases per 100,000 people aged 10 to 19 were recorded in the seven days to October 10, up week-on-week from 1,061.8.
The rate for five to nine-year-olds is 574.2, up week-on-week from 484.2.
For both age groups this is the highest weekly rate since this data was first collected in October 2020, according to the UK Health Security Agency (HSA).
Case rates are currently rising in all age groups in England. The lowest rate is among people aged 80 and over, at 110.8, up from 90.2.
Dr William Welfare, incident director at the HSA, said: “Case rates of Covid-19 remain high across the country and have been slowly rising.
“As winter approaches, help protect yourself against Covid-19 and flu by washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask in crowded places. When meeting people inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the room.
“If you are offered a vaccine for either Covid-19 or flu, please take it. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, get a PCR test.”
Additional reporting by PA