LONDON: The United Kingdom has became the first country in Western Europe to register over 3 million Covid-19 cases, according to government data published on Saturday.
The UK recorded 59,937 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 3,017,409, reported CNN.
The country also crossed 80,000 coronavirus-related deaths, with 1,035 new deaths added to the total in the past 24 hours. The total number of deaths stands at 80,868.
Deaths are up 51.3 per cent from the week before, the seven-day average published on Saturday shows, while the number of people testing positive is up 22.1 per cent, reported CNN.
On Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a ‘major incident’ here due to an ‘out of control’ surge of Covid-19 cases in hospitals in wake of the rapid spread of the virus, and said that it has left the National Health Service (NHS) on the verge of being overwhelmed.
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point. If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die. Londoners continue to make huge sacrifices and I am today imploring them to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. Stay at home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS,” he said.
Meanwhile, Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils informed that 1 in 30 Londoners was infected with the virus.
“Cases are rising at a dangerous rate in London, putting extreme pressure on the NHS. One in 30 Londoners now has Covid. This is why public services across London are urging all Londoners to please stay at home except for absolutely essential shopping and exercise,” she said.
The UK is currently under nationwide lockdown, which came into force on January 6 as a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 fuelled a surge in infections and hospitalisations in the country.
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, have received COVID-19 vaccinations, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.
“The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have today received Covid-19 vaccinations,” a spokesperson said.
The UK monarchs received the shots in the Windsor castle where they are spending the national lockdown.
Queen Elizabeth, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are part of the high-priority risk group of people aged over 80 that are in line to receive shots.
This makes the queen and the regent part of the nearly 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom to have received their first doses of the vaccine.