CORONAVIRUS cases have soared by 60 per cent – with an estimated 3,200 infections recorded each day, official figures reveal.
Around 39,700 people tested positive for the deadly disease between August 30 and September 5 in England – up 12,600 from the previous week.
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This is equivalent to around 0.07 per cent of the population – or one in 1,400.
The Office for National Statistics also reports there were 3,200 new cases a day in England – up by 1,200.
But the surge is a fraction compared to the 100,000 daily cases that were estimated during the peak of the virus six months ago.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested there could have been 100,000 cases at the end of March, with mass testing only coming into force in the second half of May.
What the figures show:
The figures are based on nose and throat swab tests in private homes, rather than in hospitals and care homes.
This is different to the daily Department of Health figures, which count people who test positive after displaying symptoms.
The ONS said there was a “marked increase in rates of positivity” – especially in people aged between 17 and 34.
But those aged 50 and over who are testing positive “appears to be stable or declining in recent weeks”.
There was evidence infection rates in London, the North West, and the South East could have risen in recent weeks.
The ONS figures are based on 183,994 swab tests in England over six weeks – with 89 people from 84 households testing positive.
In Wales, an estimated 1,200 people in private households had the disease between August 30 and September 5 – around one in 2,600 people
This is compared to 1,400 people the previous week.
Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, said: “These findings highlight how important it is that we continue to monitor Covid-19 Infections in the country.
“We are grateful to our many participants who are continuing to make this survey possible.”
The latest Government figures show there has been a total of 358,138 cases for the whole of the UK – with infections rising by 2,919 yesterday.
But the rise in the figures could be down to more tests being carried out.
The Government today revealed the R-rate across England has hit 1.7 amid a spike in infections.
They also found rates are doubling every seven to eight days.
It comes ahead of new laws being imposed from midnight on Sunday banning more than six people meeting.
The “rule of six” means large groups will not be able to gather in private homes, parks, pubs and restaurants.
People caught breaking the rules will be slapped with £100 fines, doubling for each repeat offence up to £3,200.
Marshals will also be brought in to enforce social distancing in city centres.