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Covid hospital admissions in the UK have soared by more than half in the last week.
A further 565 patients have required treatment in the last 24 hours – the highest number since March.
Cases have skyrocketed by a whopping 32,367 in the last day – just over a week before lockdown restrictions in England end on July 19.
That brings the UK's total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to more than five million.
There were also 34 coronavirus-related deaths reported today. The total number of fatalities now stands as 128,339, the Sun reports.
This amounts to a 30% increase in cases and a 62% surge in deaths over the last seven days.
More than 80 million Covid jabs have been given in the UK to date, with almost 50 million getting their first dose – a rise of 88,675 on the previous day, according to government figures.
Another 34,541,129 were second doses – an increase of 166,883.
Leading doctors warned Brits must remain vigilant when lockdown ends a week on Monday following a "dangerous" spike in cases.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, fears doing away with precautions altogether on Freedom Day would "add fuel to the fire" while the UK battles a new "dangerous wave."
The NHS is also under pressure after building up a backlog over the last 15 months.
Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling Government advisory panel, agreed that "there is a risk" with the planned July 19 reopening.
The so-called 'Freedom Day' will see all Covid restrictions, including mask-wearing and social distancing, come to an end.
But cases are once again on the rise – and Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said deaths were beginning to rise again too.
Euromillions winner Jane Park 'feels like death' as she asks fans for help with Covid
"I have been profoundly concerned for a week or two since talk of July 19 is ramping up," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"There seems to be a misapprehension that life will return to normal from then (July 19), and that we can throw away all the precautions, and frankly, that would be dangerous."
Meanwhile, Covid vaccine certificates could be needed to enter bars and restaurants after summer amid fears of a fourth wave.
Plans to introduce jab passports were initially shelved by the Government, but there are rumours they could become law in the coming months if cases continue to rise.
A note in the Government's Freedom Day blueprint reads: "However, it is possible that certification could provide a means of keeping events going and businesses open, if the country is facing a difficult situation in autumn or winter.
"Any future implementation would involve consultation and appropriate parliamentary scrutiny."
- Covid vaccine
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