The United Kingdom on Saturday recorded 40,941 daily COVID-19 cases, a decrease of seven percent on last week’s cases, government data showed.
The figures also showed 150 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test – versus 157 seven days earlier – bringing the country’s total deaths to 143,866.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 168,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The United Kingdom on Saturday recorded 40,941 daily COVID-19 cases, a decrease on a day earlier when 44,242 cases were recorded, government data showed. Pictured: Shoppers walk past a message on a hand sanitiser station amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Regent Street, London, Britain, November 20, 2021
Release of the figures came after a SAGE adviser moved to reassure Britons the UK will not see a spike in Covid-19 cases like Austria and Germany.
But Professor John Edmunds said that opposition to stringent restrictions on the continent have demonstrated the importance of booster jabs, warning, ‘it is pretty clear immunity does wane’.
‘What you see now in central Europe with these rapid increase in cases, you see the importance of vaccination,’ Mr Edmunds told Sky.
He added: ‘Frankly here in the UK, we’ve had high rates of infection for many months now so we’re in a slightly different position to Austria and Germany and so on.
‘I don’t think things will quite happen in the same way here as they have done there. But it is a warning to us. I think it’s pretty clear that immunity does wane.
‘I’m sure you do still have some protection from the vaccine but it’s nowhere near as strong as shortly after you’ve been vaccinated. It’s very clear the booster doses do give a very clear boost to your immune system.’
Asked whether the Government should re-introduce control measures, Mr Edmunds told Sky: ‘The plan B measures, we could’ve implemented them at any point. It’s a government decision whether to take that step.
‘They have to look at the potential effectiveness and measure that against the potential cost of some of those things.’
This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was ‘very worried’ about the spread of Covid-19 within Europe as the continent battles a fresh wave of infections.
Regional director Dr Hans Kluge told the BBC that some 500,000 more deaths could be recorded by March unless urgent action is taken.
But Mr Edmunds said the UK was unlikely to be hit by the Christmas chaos because the country ‘is in a slightly different position’.
Pictured: Demonstrators take part in a protest against Covid certification in Belfast city centre on Saturday November 20, 2021
Saturday’s demonstration in Vienna (pictured) is the latest in rising anger at restrictions amid soaring cases on the continent
The British Government has repeatedly rejected pleas to implement its Plan B, which would see similar measures to what are being levied on Ireland. But Boris Johnson has admitted a full-blown lockdown could still be on the cards if cases spike.
This comes amid a fresh wave of Covid infections on the continent that has sent nations back into draconian restrictions and could see excess deaths start to rise again.
Italy is considering a lockdown of the unvaccinated, it emerged yesterday, which would make it the latest country to impose the controversial intervention after Austria announced lockdown would return on Monday.
And Germany’s incoming government has said that it wants unvaccinated people to be barred from going to work and travelling on public transport amid what Angela Merkel calls ‘dramatic’ infection levels. The Netherlands has also introduced a 7pm curfew for pubs and restaurants amid rising cases there.
Both Austria and the Czech Republic have announced the return of lockdowns from Monday, with Germany poised to follow suit after health officials warned they cannot rule out a full shutdown.
Meanwhile, Slovakia intends to bring in harsher restrictions if its current lockdown of unvaccinated people does not curb the rise in cases.
The reintroduction of restrictions across Europe have sparked a fierce backlash and fevered protests broke out in cities including Rotterdam overnight, where riot police fired warning shots – injuring protestors marching against the Covid measures.
Today, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Vienna with the far-right opposition Freedom Party among those who have called for the protest and vowed to combat the new restrictions.
Demonstrations against virus measures are also expected in other European countries including Switzerland, Croatia and Italy.