UK Markets open in 4 hrs 11 mins

COVID infections drop by 6,000... but new daily number is still second highest ever

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
A woman wearing a face mask waits at a pedestrian crossing on Regent Street in London, England, on November 6, 2020. England yesterday began its second national coronavirus lockdown, announced by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Saturday, citing fears that covid-19 again threatened to overwhelm the National Health Service (NHS). Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops are all required to be closed until the currently scheduled end date of December 2. People have meanwhile been asked to stay home as much as possible, although schools and other educational institutions are this time being being kept open and the streets of central London today were markedly busier than the early days of the first lockdown in the spring. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Coronavirus infections dropped by more than 6,000 on Friday, the government said. (David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Daily coronavirus infections have dropped by more than 6,000 – a day after they hit a record number.

Some 27,301 lab-confirmed infections were announced by the government on Friday.

This was 6,169 less than 33,470 on Thursday, which was the highest ever number during the pandemic.

The large drop-off in cases will raise hopes Thursday’s number was a one-off spike, as opposed to a new pattern of increasing infections.

Nonetheless, 27,301 remains the second highest number of infections recorded in a day.

Watch: Coronavirus in numbers, 13 November

However, the government has previously said more than 100,000 people a day were getting COVID-19 at the peak of the first wave in April, a time when testing capacity was far lower and less infections were being picked up.

Meanwhile, the government said a further 376 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID, bringing the UK total to 51,304.

The latest daily figures came after positive news from the government’s top scientific advisers, who said the reproduction “R” rate has dropped across the country.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said the R is now between 1 and 1.2 across the UK: down from between 1.1 and 1.3 in the past few weeks.

If the R value is above 1, it means the spread of the virus is continuing to increase. When below 1, it shows the outbreak is in retreat.

As a result, Sage warned deaths and demand for healthcare will carry on unless R drops below 1 for an extended period of time.

Watch: What is long COVID?

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter