Coronavirus: UK reports biggest increase in COVID-19 cases since May 8

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The United Kingdom reported 4,422 new daily cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, 100 more new cases than on Friday and the highest daily total since May 8.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The true rate of infection is likely to be higher. Britain’s statistics agency said on Friday that around 6,000 people a day in England alone probably caught the disease during the week to Sept. 10, based on its random testing.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon asked Johnson to meet her and the leaders of the devolved governments of Wales and Northern Ireland within the next 48 hours to try to ensure coordinated measures across different parts of the United Kingdom.

“We know from experience earlier in the year that speed and decisiveness of action is important in the fight against COVID,” she said.

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UK risks new lockdown

Britain is likely to need to reintroduce some national coronavirus lockdown measures sooner rather than later, a leading epidemiologist said on Saturday.

Neil Ferguson, a professor of epidemiology at London’s Imperial College and a former government adviser, told the BBC the country was facing a “perfect storm” of rising infections as people return to work and school.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that he did not want another national lockdown but that new restrictions may be needed because the country was facing an “inevitable” second wave of COVID-19.

“I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later,” Ferguson said.

Read more:

Coronavirus: UK’s COVID-19 hospital admissions double every eight days

European cities announce new restrictions to curb soaring cases of coronavirus

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