UK records 29,173 Covid cases and 28 deaths as infections drop for fifth day in row

UK records 29,173 Covid cases and 28 deaths as infections drop for fifth day in row

The UK recorded 29,173 coronavirus cases and 28 deaths on Sunday, almost one week since Freedom Day went ahead - making it the fifth day in a row that cases have dropped

The number of coronavirus cases has dropped for the fifth consecutive day as the UK recorded 29,173 new infections and 28 deaths.

The number is down from Satuday's 31,795, while July 20 saw 46,558 infections, followed by 44,104 on July 21, 39,906 on July 22 and 36,398 on July 23, according to official Government data.

There were 28 deaths recorded within 28 days of positive test, down from 86 reported on Saturday and 64 on Friday.

The Public Health England statistics come almost a week since England's lockdown ended on Monday July 19 as the government controversially decided to go ahead with the fourth and last step of its roadmap to ending restrictions.

Brits up and down the country were jubilant as "Freedom Day" last Monday effectively brought lockdown rules to an end for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak 18 months ago.

Despite the fall in daily cases, the number of people being hospitalised has crept up, with 4,401 hospital beds occupied by patients with confirmed Covid-19 as of Friday - the highest level since March 22 and a week-on-week rise of 30.7 per cent from the 3,367 people in hospital on July 16.

Despite this, numbers are still much lower than the peak of the second wave when patient levels in England reached 34,336 on January 18.

Meanwhile 46.5m people have now received the first dose of a vaccine, while 36.9m have received a 2nd dose, PHE said.

The statistics come amid growing discontent by food industry bosses at how the government has sought to change self-isolation rules to ease the 'pingdemic', with plans being branded "worse than useless".

That while hospitality leaders have warned of a summer of closures and train operators were forced to cut services.

There were increasing calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to bring forward his wider relaxation of quarantine rules for the fully vaccinated from August 16 as businesses were hampered by staff being told to isolate as coronavirus cases soar.

In a bid to calm the concerns of industry, ministers published a limited list of sectors whose double-jabbed workers are eligible to avoid isolation if they undergo daily testing before the wider easing of rules for England.

Industry leaders said the move did not include sufficient workers, but doctors warned the problem is the Prime Minister letting the virus “rip” and not the “pings” being issued by the NHS Covid-19 app to tell contacts to isolate.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who recently tested positive to Covid-19, has been forced to apologise on Sunday for saying people had "cowered" from the virus.

Mr Javid made the "deeply insensitive" remarks in a tweet on Saturday as he announced his "full recovery" from the virus.

"Please, if you haven't yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus," he wrote on Twitter.

Apologising for his comments, Mr Javid tweeted: "I was expressing gratitude that the vaccines help us fight back as a society, but it was a poor choice of word and I sincerely apologise.

“Like many, I have lost loved ones to this awful virus and would never minimise its impact.”

The Health Secretary faced pressure to apologise after Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy said Mr Javid "insulted" people who followed the rules to protect others.

"129,000 Brits have died from Covid under your Government's watch," Mr Lammy wrote.

"Don't denigrate people for trying to keep themselves and their families safe."

UK records 29,173 Covid cases and 28 deaths as infections drop for fifth day in row
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