National Post (National Edition)



LONDON Britain reported 41,385 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, a daily record, as a rapidly spreading variant of the coronaviru­s increases infection rates and the holiday weekend slowed the reporting of some new cases. There were 357 new deaths within 28 days of a positive test. “This very high level of infection is of growing concern at a time when our hospitals are at their most vulnerable,” said Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said a variant of the coronaviru­s, which could be up to 70 per cent more transmissi­ble, was spreading rapidly in Britain, although it is not thought to be more deadly or to cause more serious illness. The rise in positive cases was also partially driven by Northern Ireland reporting 1,634 new cases, having not reported any cases on Sunday or Friday due to the Christmas holiday. It was unclear whether a rise of cases in England by nearly 11,000 was partially a result of fluctuatio­ns in testing figures over the holiday weekend.

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