COVID deaths in the UK have reached their highest in five months as 174 new fatalities were recorded today.
It is the highest reported daily death toll since March 12 – although the figures are likely to include a lag in reporting over the weekend.
And today, another 30,838 cases of Covid were recorded in the UK as infections continue to drop steadily.
This brings the total number of people infected since the beginning of the pandemic to 6,555,200.
Government data up to August 23 shows that of the 89,679,178 Covid jabs given in the UK, 47,737,142 were first doses, a rise of 46,401 on the previous day.
Some 41,942,036 were second doses, an increase of 131,283.
t comes after Dr Hillary urged caution as schoolkids go back to the classrooms from next week.
The summer break was lauded as a chance to get infections down as the country got fully vaccinated.
But cases are still high, with deaths also high at an average of 100-a-day, as children – largely unvaccinated – are set to return to school.
He said parents must be "vigilant", especially after the Cornish Boardmasters festival saw a huge outbreak in the younger age groups.
Dr Hillary said on Good Morning Britain: "Young people make up the biggest proportion of cases we're seeing, and in that case, we have to be worried about what happens.
"50,000 people attended, PCR testing and surveillance looked at 4,700 cases that might be linked. That's nearly 10 per cent, so that's got to be a concern.
"If you have big event and that many people testing positive thereafter, it does beg the question, what will happen when schools go back?"
And on hospitalisations, he added: "The trend is upwards, highest number in five months.
"We're also seeing an upward trend in cases, 32,000 yesterday, and death rate up by 54 per cent week on week. Those are worrying statistics."
Another expert warned of a possible jump in cases and hospital admissions after pupils go back to classrooms.
Prof Ravi Gupta of the University of Cambridge, a coopted member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), told the Guardian disruption would continue as schools return.
He said: "There is nothing to stop it happening because … there are still a lot of people who have not been infected with Delta and who will get infected, and some of them will become more ill than others.
“So I think there is still a way to go with this. And yes, it is going to coincide with schools reopening and of course you have waning immunity as well.”
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