© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A medical worker takes a swab sample following a spike in cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to visitors of a pub in Stone, Britain, July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine
By David Milliken
LONDON (Reuters) -Britain reported the lowest daily total of new coronavirus cases since July 4 on Monday, adding to signs that a recent surge in coronavirus cases driven by the spread of the Delta variant may have passed its peak.
The number of new cases fell for a sixth consecutive day to 24,950 on Monday from 29,173 on Sunday. The total number of new cases over the past week, at just over a quarter of a million, is more than a fifth lower than a week before.
Britain has been closely watched by health experts and by financial markets since almost all legal restrictions were lifted in England on July 19, not long after new cases reached their highest level since mid-January.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government judged that the risk of a big wave of deaths of hospitalisations was low due to high vaccination rates which limited the risk of serious illness, even if they did not fully stop new infections.
However, businesses have reported widespread absence of staff who are required to self-isolate due to having been in contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Britain has recorded almost 130,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, the second-highest official total in Europe after Russia. Monday’s death figures were not immediately available due to technical difficulties.
Monday’s data showed that 46.589 million people in the United Kingdom had received one vaccine dose and 37.287 million were fully vaccinated.
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