UK reports 5,765 new Covid cases as govt continues to mull easing restrictions

People walk along the Westminster Bridge in London, Britain.

London, (Asian independent) Britain on Saturday reported another 5,765 Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours as the government continues to consider whether or not to go ahead with the final step of easing restrictions on June 21.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 4,511,669, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The country also recorded another 13 coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 127,836. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

The British government is facing increasing pressure to delay the final step of unlocking restrictions in England due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant first detected in India.

“No decision” has been made on whether to ease all coronavirus restrictions on June 21, a Downing Street spokeswoman said Saturday.

“As the prime minister has set out, we can see nothing in the data at the moment to suggest that we need to deviate from the roadmap,” she said, adding that the government would continue to review the latest data.

Public Health England (PHE) said on Thursday that the variant of coronavirus first identified in India, known as Delta, is now the “dominant” strain in Britain.

The number of cases of the Delta variant has risen by more than 5,000 since last week to 12,431, according to the data from PHE released on Thursday.

From May 17, pubs, bars and restaurants in England were permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment resumed, including cinemas, museums and children’s play areas.

People were also allowed to travel abroad to a number of “green-list” countries without having to quarantine upon return as the ban on foreign travel has also been lifted.

The British government’s roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21. It is understood that a final decision on the planned easing of lockdown will not be made until June 14.

Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the US as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.