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Covid: UK daily cases reach new high of 33,470

A record 33,470 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK government’s latest daily figure.
It is the highest daily number since mass testing began in the UK, and brings the total number of cases to more than 1.29 million.
The scale of testing in the UK has steadily grown in recent weeks.
Government minister Alok Sharma said rising case numbers were “a reminder to us about why we are taking action to stop the spread of the virus”.
On Wednesday the UK became the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 Covid deaths.
Thursday’s daily number of cases showed a 45.8% increase on Wednesday’s figure of 22,950.
BBC health and science correspondent James Gallagher said the spike in cases could have been driven by changes in people’s behaviour in the run-up to England’s four-week national lockdown, which began on 5 November but was announced on 31 October.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England (PHE), said: “The majority of cases reported today were from tests carried out on 9 and 10 November, which includes infections acquired in the days leading up to new measures on 5 November.
“Limiting contact with others will help to stop the spread of the virus and protect the people we love,” she said.
Dr Doyle added that the highest rate of infections continues to be seen in the younger generations, but is “worryingly” rising quickly in those aged over 80, who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill.
Reading too much into one day’s data is dangerous.
But there is no getting away from the fact the jump in positive cases is worrying.
We’ve not seen this kind of jump before – it is both 10,000 above Wednesday’s figure and the current rolling average.
It’s unclear why this is. The government says there was no backlog of tests that were processed, which could have explained it.
The mass testing in Liverpool is not thought to be feeding into the figure yet.
The number of tests processed has gone up, but that has happened previously without returning such a high number of positive cases.
An increase in socialising last week ahead of lockdown could be a factor.
Whatever the cause, the hope is it’s a one-off blip. Cases had been pretty stable for a fortnight before this.
And there was growing hope next week would see figures falling as the impact of lockdown takes effect.
The next few days will be crucial.
NHS England medical director Prof Stephen Powis played down the jump in cases, telling a Downing Street press conference it was important to “not just take one day in isolation”.
But he added: “It is clear that infection rates have been going up. What is really important is to get those infection rates down.”