COVID cases in the UK today rose by 7,540 in the highest leap in daily infections since February.
The latest number puts the total number of cases since the pandemic began at 4,535,754.
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It is the highest rise since February 26 when 7,710 new cases were recorded.
The figure is also 74 per cent higher than a week ago when 4,330 infections were reported.
It comes as…
- The top five Covid hotspots have been revealed
- The four key numbers that will determine IF lockdown can end on June 21 have been revealed
- Surge Covid testing deployed to part of London to catch cases of the Delta variant
- An MP has warned not to make plans on June 21 until you've heard from Boris Johnson
It marks the third time reported infection numbers have been higher than 6,000 in the last week.
Today's figures also show deaths have risen by six – bringing the total number to 127,860.
This is compared to last week when 12 deaths were reported – meaning they have fallen by half in the past seven days.
And 69,251,163 jabs have been administered in total in the UK as the Herculean vaccine rollout continues.
Of these, 40,710,319 people have received a first dose of the vaccine – a rise of 136,802 on the previous day.
And 28,540,844 were second doses, an increase of 313,482.
A record one million jabs were booked when over-25s were made eligible as young people work towards lockdown lifting on June 21.
It comes as the Indian variant continues to rampage across the UK.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling scared the Government into the first lockdown, today warned the R rate could be as high as 2.5 in some areas of England.
He said the best guess is the Delta variant is 60 per cent more transmissible.
This is compared toto the Alpha (Kent) variant which is no longer dominant due to the new, rapidly spreading Delta strain.
But just two per cent of patients hospitalised with the Indian variant had received both jabs — proof the vaccines are protecting our most vulnerable despite soaring infections.
And NHS England recorded no daily Covid deaths in hospitals on Saturday or Sunday for the first time in 15 months
Despite this, there are still fears the variant could delay the lifting of all lockdown restrictions on June 21.
Robert Jenrick today dropped another hint "Freedom Day" could be pushed back, saying people should "wait until you've heard from the PM" before making more plans.
Boris Johnson is due to make an announcement on Monday on whether to ditch all the Covid rules from June 21, or to keep some for longer to keep Covid cases under control.
Ministers have repeatedly stressed it's too early to make a decision, but they will keep all options on the table.
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