Friday 10/23/20

Britain records nearly 20,000 new infections in the past day

The country's related death toll rose by 137 in the past 24 hours.

05 October 2020, England, London: A man sits and eats near the City Hall. According to official information, in Great Britain, more than half a million corona infections have already been detected. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/dpa.
A man sits and eats near the London City Hall. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/dpa.

Britain has recorded nearly 20,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus during the past 24 hours, health authorities announced on Wednesday.

The new total is an increase of 2,500 compared to the previous day.

Britain's related death toll rose by 137 in the past 24 hours.

The number of people who have caught the virus is likely to be higher, however, amid a shortage of tests.

The figures come a day after opposition leader Keir Starmer called for a nationwide lockdown given the increasing number of cases, possibly during the schools' half-term holidays in October.

Christmas lockdown

Scientists have also suggested that a short lockdown - possibly over Christmas - could prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed and potentially reduce the country's death toll this winter.

That measure that is supported by the majority of the public, according to a new poll, PA newswire reported. YouGov found 68% of the public would support the introduction of what has been described as a "circuit-breaker" lockdown, compared with just 20% who would oppose it.

Worst affected areas

But Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday a national lockdown would cause significant damage" to livelihoods.

The areas worst affected by the virus are northern England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and parts of Wales.

Northern Ireland has introduced stricter regulations to prevent the virus from spreading, the region's First Minister Arlene Foster said on Wednesday, closing all pubs and restaurants for four weeks, and schools for two weeks.