Coronavirus cases rise by 2,948 in 24 hours as death toll increases by three – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS cases in the UK rose by 2,948 today as Britain's death toll increased by three. 

The latest figures mean 41,554 people have died of coronavirus in the UK to date.

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The three deaths are thought to have occurred in England as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all reported no deaths today.

The rise in fatalities refers to people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

Today is also the second day cases have risen by nearly 3,000 – the highest increase in more than three months.

This means 350,100 people have now tested positive for the virus in the UK.

But despite the spike in cases, Britain's death toll and hospital admissions continue to drop.

Experts say this could mean the virus is getting weaker.

Data from Public Health England also shows that, while more than 40 per cent of tests carried out in hospitals were positive in March and April, this has now plummeted and remains below 2.5 per cent in both hospitals and the community.

While cases are higher than they have been, experts said it is because we are testing more people than we did at the height of the crisis.

At the start of lockdown a limited amount of tests meant that more than 40 per cent came back positive.

This has now plummeted to just 2.3 per cent across the community and 0.5 per cent in hospitals, Public Health England data revealed.

This equates to around one in 50 people testing positive in test centres.

It also means that just one in 200 hospital patients who get swabbed actually have the virus.

Experts believe there may be a number of reasons why positive cases have risen dramatically in the past two days while deaths and hospital admissions remain low.

Daily testing across the UK has shot up to almost 200,000 a day in the last month which could mean more cases are being picked up in the wider population.

And whereas in the height of the pandemic testing was largely carried out in hospital, there is now far greater testing in UK communities with tests available for anyone who shows symptoms of the virus.

Professor Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, told the MailOnline: "In the early stages of the pandemic, there was far less availability of testing in most countries than there now is.

"So one reason there are more cases is just that people have got better at looking for and finding them."

This means the current number of people testing positive for COVID-19 should not be compared to the peak of the pandemic, experts say.

Health secretary Matt Hancock also told radio interviewers this morning that affluent young people aged 17 to 21 were fuelling the rise in positive cases with fears they are flouting social distancing rules.

Mr Hancock told LBC radio this morning:"We are seeing problems with social distancing. The rise in cases is largely among younger people, under 25s, especially between 17 and 21."

The Health Secretary urged teens and young adults to stick to coronavirus restrictions – or risk infecting their grandparents.

He added: "The message is that even though you are at lower risk of dying of Covid if you are of that age, you can still have really serious symptoms and consequences.

"Also, you can infect other people."

The news comes as health secretary Mr Hancock said the rise in cases was "concerning" but reassured Brits the virus was not out of control.

Mr Hancock said: "This rise in case we have seen in the last few days is concerning, and it’s concerning because we have seen a rise in cases in France, Spain and some other countries in Europe.

"Nobody wants to see a second wave here. It just reinforces the point that people must follow the social distancing rules, they are so important.'

But asked by presenter Nick Ferrari if the UK had "lost control", Mr Hancock said: "No, but the whole country needs to follow social distancing."

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