On Friday, the UK Government reported a further 3,539 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 – significantly up from 2,919 new infections on Thursday and the highest daily total since May 17. Public Health England’s medical director Professor Yvonne Doyle warned it is a reminder of the “ongoing risk as the virus spreads throughout the UK”, and said there are now “worrying signs” of infections among the elderly. The latest data from the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has estimated the R value – the reproduction number of coronavirus transmission – is between 1.0 and 1.2 across the UK.
The last time the R value was above 1.0 was in early March – just as the coronavirus pandemic began to pick up pace.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also estimated there has been a 60 percent surge in daily infections in England.
Now a shock new poll from YouGov shows the British public – particularly the elderly – are blaming youngsters for the worrying spike in coronavirus cases.
The survey of 2,551 Britons on September 11, asked: How responsible, if at all, do you hold young people for the rise in coronavirus infections?”
The results revealed 57 percent hold young people responsible for the rise in infections.
This is the case for 67 percent of those aged 50-65, and 73 percent of those aged over 65.
Just over a third (35 percent) don’t hold young people responsible and unsurprisingly, this is highest among those aged 18-24 (59 percent).
Separately, Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Covid-19 Infection Survey, believes the latest worrying coronavirus figures suggest a surge in coronavirus infections over recent weeks with higher infection rates among 17 to 34-year-olds.
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Just over a third (35 percent) agree with the suggestion to extend it only for specific businesses.
Under a fifth think it should be extended to run exactly as it does now, with more than a quarter (27 percent) wanting the multi-billion-pound scheme to end as planned.
Away from this poll, new data from the Imperial College London suggested coronavirus cases in England are doubling every seven to eight days at the beginning of September.
Professor Paul Elliott, director of the programme at Imperial from the School of Public Health, said the “large and robust dataset clearly shows a concerning trend in coronavirus infections, where cases are growing quickly across England and are no longer concentrated in key workers”.
He added: “What we are seeing is evidence of an epidemic in the community and not a result of increased testing capacity.
“This is a critical time and it’s vital that the public, our health system and policymakers are aware of the situation as we cannot afford complacency.”