THE number of people testing positive for Covid is at the highest level in a month – with more than 10million Brits now known to have been infected in total.
In worrying news, another 47,240 people have reported that they’re newly-infected with the deadly bug today.
More than 10milliopn Brits have tested positive for Covid since the virus gripped the country last year
Meanwhile, cases are the highest they’ve been in a month
It’s the highest total since October 22, when 49,298 positive tests were recorded.
Meanwhile, 147 more lives have been lost.
The figures come amid a day of bad coronavirus news, as experts warn of a “horrific” super-evolved mutation that could be worse than Delta.
While case numbers of B.1.1.529 are currently small, virologists say the strain – dubbed the ‘Botswana’ variant – has 32 mutations.
Several of these could make the variant better at escaping vaccines. It may also spread more quickly.
Downing Street says officials are keeping the variant “under investigation” – and refused to comment on whether travel restrictions will be brought in to tackle the mutation.
Professor Francois Balloux of UCL said: “It is difficult to predict how transmissible it may be at this stage. For the time being, it should be closely monitored and analysed.
10MILLION BRITS POSITIVE
“However, there is no reason to get overly concerned, unless it starts going up in frequency in the near future.”
Prof Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School, told MailOnline it “looks like” the variant could be better at dodging immunity from vaccines.
“It’s always difficult to say just by looking at [mutations], and so much depends on how the immune system sees the change and responds,” he said.
“But it… looks like it might be slightly more worrying than the South African variant.”
Elsewhere, embattled parents fear schools may close again this winter as headteachers begin to impose their own ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns.
Kids in some areas are already being sent home from classrooms and learning moved back online due to spiralling case numbers.
FEARS OVER MUTATION
St Mary’s Church of England Primary in Hereford and Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio in Lancashire have shut for at least a week.
And now campaigners fear many more schools could follow suit in the run up to the Christmas holidays.
They say children are being treated as “second class citizens” and must be allowed to stay in the classroom.
Top academics have also warned Brits may face a second cancelled Christmas if they don’t get their booster jabs.
The ZOE COVID Study estimates 76,728 people are contracting symptomatic Covid in the UK each day – 18 per cent higher than the 65,059 estimated last week.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the study, says it’s “far too high” and it’s “up to us to save Christmas”.
He said: “Seeing cases on the rise again is really disheartening and the recent ups and downs, unlike previous waves, is making it hard to predict where things will be from week-to-week.
“However, for me, the message is that cases are still far too high.
“Although we appear, for now, to be faring better than some European countries in terms of case numbers, the UK continues to have relatively high hospital admissions and deaths, which is a real cause for concern.”