The British government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) says the infection rate in the UK is on the rise, reflecting a huge increase in the number of cases reported in the last week.

SAGE headed by the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has announced a worrying increase in the Covid-19 infection rate. 

The infection rate across all of the UK is now believed to be between 1.1 and 1.3, marking a rise from 0.8 and 1.0 at the end of November’s lockdown.

SAGE also warned that the figures are time delayed and resultantly “do not yet fully reflect any very recent changes in transmission.” 

The announcement comes as the UK, and particularly South East England, seeks to tackle a new ‘highly contagious’ strain of Covid-19.

The virus variant, which is particularly prevalent in the UK and South Africa, is reportedly 70 percent more contagious and has been linked to soaring case numbers in recent weeks.

The devolved administrations of the UK have responded to the concerning rise in cases by introducing tougher measures for the winter months, while many foreign governments have introduced travel bans on people arriving from Britain. 

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