‘By Abba Gwale

Britain on Tuesday has recorded new 53,135 cases of COVID-19, which is the highest number recorded since the start of mass testing in mid-2020, and up sharply from the last record of 41,385 recorded on Monday.

Also, the number of new deaths recorded within 28 days of the disease rose to 414 from this week’s Monday, 357, taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 71,567.

Britain is battling with the new variant of COVID-19 which scientists say can spread rapidly, making the country to vie with Italy for Europe’s highest number of death toll from the disease.

A senior medical advisor to Public Health England, Susan Hopkins, said “We are continuing to see unprecedented levels of COVID-19 infection across the UK, which is of extreme concern particularly as our hospitals are at their most vulnerable.”

Susan further said that some of the daily increase in cases reflected reporting delays due to Christmas holidays, but the figures were “largely a reflection of a real increase”.

Today, Health minister Matt Hancock will give an update on regional coronavirus restrictions and the government stand on the increase in numbers.

A leading epidemiologist who advises the government, Andrew Hayward, on Tuesday warned that Britain was heading for “catastrophe” over the coming weeks if it did not take tougher measures against the more infectious variant of the disease.

Half of England’s population, living around London and neighbouring regions, is currently under the tightest form of COVID restriction.

Non-essential shops and most of the businesses are closed to the public, and almost all face-to-face socialising is prohibited around that area.

But to allow families to meet during Christmas, most of Britain rules were relaxed, which many health officials said is a big risk because the action may cause a spike in COVID infections in the non-affected region.

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