The United Kingdom reported on Friday 24,405 new cases of COVID-19 and a further 274 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, according to government data.
It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 989,745.
The reproduction “R” number of the Covid-19 epidemic in Britain fell slightly for the second week in a row, government scientists said on Friday, adding the estimated growth rate had slowed too.
The “R” number was 1.1-1.3, down from 1.2-1.4, the UK’s Government Office for Science said. That means on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Europe’s second wave of coronavirus was accelerated by a new viral mutation that emerged from a cluster of farms in northern Spain, according to research published today by a Swiss university.
Meanwhile it was earlier revealed that the Government’s “Eat out to help out” discount scheme to boost spending at restaurants, cafes and pubs over the summer helped spread the coronavirus and contributed to a second wave of infections, according to a new study.
Between 8% and 17% of newly detected infection clusters could be linked to the scheme during that period, according to the study by the University of Warwick. Areas where there was a high uptake of the scheme saw an increase in new infections about a week after it started, the study found.
Meanwhile, the research said those same areas saw a decline in new infections a week the discount offer finished.
However the Treasury said it did not recognise the findings of the study.
“Many other European counterparts have experienced an uptick in cases – irrespective of whether similar measures for the hospitality industry have been introduced,” a spokesman for Treasury said.
Thiemo Fetzer, a professor of economics who published the study, said: “The Eat-Out-to-Help-out scheme, hailed as an economic cure for the ailing sector, may have substantially worsened the disease.”