Covid infections hit ‘record high’ with 351,000 daily cases as new strain runs rampant | The Sun

COVID cases have reached a new record high as a new strain is running rampant.

One in 15 people are currently infected, according the the ZOE Covid app, which estimates 351,000 people are catching Covid each day.

Professor Tim Spector, which heads the study, said: “We have new U.K. RECORD! 

“Over 351000 daily new cases on the Zoe app – that 1 in 15 people with the virus currently. 

“Still rising across England but flattening in Scotland and Wales.

“All age groups increasing but kids levelling so hopefully flat within a week.”

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The BA.4 and BA.5 coronavirus strains are driving the current summer wave.

Descendants of Omicron, they are able to dodge immunity from prior infection and vaccines.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) revealed that BA.5 is growing 35.1 per cent faster than Omicron BA.2, while BA.4 is growing approximately 19.1 per cent faster.

People who have already had Omicron are at risk of catching it again just four weeks after getting the bug, experts have warned.

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However, there is no evidence jabs don’t protect against severe disease or deaths.

The Omicron variant was also found to be a milder, less dangerous strain of the bug, with most people suffering with cold and flu-like symptoms.

Prof Spector, of King’s College London, wrote on Twitter: “New study suggests that new BA4 and BA5 variants work by both evading the existing immune defences and also neutralising some of them. 

“No surprise they are so successful as UK cases soar to record levels.”

Deaths remain low, at around 65 per day in England.

But hospital admissions are rising and almost at the level seen in January and March – when previous Omicron variants caused outbreaks.

Almost 2,000 patients are being reported as Covid positive per day in England.

It comes as all ambulance services are put on the highest black alert amid record Covid cases and an extreme heat warning.

It means they are under extreme pressure and is on a par with a black alert in hospitals.

The ten trusts in England have moved to the emergency crisis level, meaning long delays to 999 responses.

Waits of up to 18 hours are reported as crews back up outside overloaded A&E departments.

Covid cases have been rising alongside a growth in large mass gatherings such as festivals.

Prof Spector told The i: “There’s no sign of it slowing down in England, where it looks like it’s set to continue for at least another week like this.

"There is a possibility it could get near 400,000. So hopefully in a week’s time it will be flat.

“I think it’s shocking that as we hit a UK record there’s no announcement from the Government, the department of health about this.

“We’re in a leaderless country hitting another crisis without anyone to guide it”.

However, a minister said the government is ready to bring Covid measures back to "protect the NHS" if necessary.

Lord Syed Kamall said as it stands, cases are on the rise but the "link between infections and hospitalisations" has been broken.

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But he added: "If it gets to a point where it is affecting the backlog then clearly measures may well have to be introduced.”

Previous measures that could be brought back include mandatory masks in crowded spaces and regular lateral flow testing.

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