UK coronavirus cases surge by 4,422 hitting four-month high

19 September 2020, 16:58 | Updated: 19 September 2020, 17:33

Experts have warned the UK needs to act to stem a second wave
Experts have warned the UK needs to act to stem a second wave. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Daily coronavirus cases in the UK have surged by another 4,422 - the highest number in 24 hours since May.

The latest Government figure as of 9am on Saturday brings the total number of confirmed UK cases to 390,358.

It is 100 more than last Friday, which was the previous highest since 8 May.

The Department of Health and Social Care also said a further 27 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 41,759.

The latest jump comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned an "inevitable" second wave of the virus was "coming in".

A further 16 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,735, NHS England said on Saturday.

Patients were aged between 69 and 97 and all had known underlying health conditions.

The dates of the deaths were between 19 August and 18 September, with the majority on or after 17 September.

Professor Neil Ferguson warned earlier that new coronavirus restrictions will be needed “sooner rather than later” if the authorities are to prevent the disease surging again.

Read more: Second wave of coronavirus is hitting UK, Boris Johnson says

Read more: Pressure on Boris Johnson to hold Cobra meeting as lockdown fears grow

The Imperial College scientist – whose modelling led to the Government ordering the lockdown in March – said the country was facing a “perfect storm” following the easing of controls over the summer.

“Right now we are at about the levels of infection we were seeing in this country in late February,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“If we leave it another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March. That’s clearly going to cause deaths because people will be hospitalised.

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

More to follow...